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The Cubs have landed Jorge Soler

Jun 11, 2012, 2:27 PM EDT

Joel Sherman of the New York Post is reporting that the Cubs have signed Cuban defector Jorge Soler:

Ken Rosenthal confirms. Jon Heyman reports that the deal is for nine years and $30 million. Rosenthal notes that Soler can opt out of the financial provisions of the deal after he becomes arbitration eligible, though he will still be subject to team control. It’s just that his salary would be determined by arbitration.

This wouldn’t be the biggest surprise ever. There were rumors going back months that they already had a handshake deal with Soler’s people, though it was strongly denied at the time.

More to the point: Soler represents a great way — maybe the last best way — for a Cubs team badly in need of rebuilding to get a premium international free agent or amateur talent without being subject to the new bonus limits of the new CBA.

Soler turned 20 in February. He’s an outfielder and, though he’s considered raw, he is said to have serious power potential. Size-wise, he is supposed to be only a little smaller than the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton, who is 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds. He has, however, been inactive for around a year thanks to the defection drama, so he’s not going to be in Chicago any time soon.

Big signing for the Cubs.

  1. uyf1950 - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    I guess in time we will all find out if he lives up to all the hype.

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Jun 11, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      Is there any chance you’ve previously been employed as a road sign designer?

      http://bit.ly/Kwbcva

  2. John Vincent - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Reblogged this on Johnny's Baseball Blog.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:49 PM

      Not sure why we should have a problem with this man’s piggybacking onto HBT, given that we support HBT’s piggybacking onto the AP/ESPN/Rosenthal/any Twitter user.

      • madhatternalice - Jun 11, 2012 at 5:19 PM

        I “thumbs down’d” not because he reblogged, but because all he wrote was “reblogged this.” There may be insight over at the link, but since the comment is (for all intents and purposes) a cry for attention and nothing more (there’s nothing substantive).

        We support HBT piggybacking because Craig/DJ/Aaron/Matthew actually add analysis to their piggybacking. Now, if the above comment were “Reblogged this, and discussed why the Soler signing hurt the Cubs,” then hey, that’s interesting.

    • John Vincent - Jun 11, 2012 at 5:43 PM

      i didn’t write this..Wordpress automatically entered it ….my intent was not to steal anybody’s stuff but to comment on it on my blog…i am new to HBT and i just got schooled on their protocol…

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:16 AM

        Thanks for explaining – that makes sense.

  3. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Where can I find whatever numbers he’s had in his career? I’d like to know a little more about my team’s biggest signing of the past year!

    • cereal blogger - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:05 PM

      Sure, trust the Cuban national teams stats, just like he’s actually 20 yrs old…..suuurrreee

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:08 PM

        Thanks for the help.

    • istillbelieveinblue - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      His Cuban stats area probably a poor judge. Since he hasn’t played any baseball in a year, the Cubs need to get this kid to Peoria or Daytona as quickly as they can.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:12 PM

        I know – I just wanted to see something.

  4. mybrunoblog - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Kind of surprising considering the Theo Epstein Cubs were supposed to be more frugal and make better personnel decisions.
    Solar might project well to scouts but a 9 year $30 million salary to a guy who has never played an inning of big league ball seems nuts to me.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      Five more years, $6 million less dollars, for a much younger guy when you compare him to Cespedes. Besides, considering the money teams have but can’t spent on drafts anymore, this was money easily set aside for a signing like this.

      That’s a very low AAV, and if he’s 1/4th the player Stanton is, this will be well worth it.

      I’d like to see way more of these signings than any more Zambrano/Soriano deals.

    • ebergevin - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      This is chump change compared to what the Sox spent on Dice-K. You’re getting a prospect with five-tool potential in Soler. It’s worth the gamble.

    • istillbelieveinblue - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:22 PM

      Consider this: He’s probably 3+ years from being an everyday Major Leaguer. Theo and Jed basically locked him up for 3 years in the minors then 6 in the majors. It doesn’t sound quite so crazy when you break out like that, but yeah, the number of years definitely surprised me when I first read it.

  5. lazlosother - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    I think the Cubs did very well here. As Matt pointed out, the AAV is low and won’t hurt the Cubs at all if he flops. 3.3 Mil. is less than the estimated cost of 1 WAR at this point, and the cost won’t be going down over the next 9 years. If he develops as projected it is an absolute steal.

  6. uyf1950 - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Theo Epstein just loves those very long term deals. Here’s what’s being reported on MLBTR:
    By Ben Nicholson-Smith [June 11 at 1:48pm CST]
    1:48pm: Soler and the Cubs agreed to a nine-year deal worth approximately $30MM, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. At least three or four teams placed bids of $20MM plus, according to Heyman. Depending on how long Soler spends at the minor league level, the deal could cover all of his arbitration seasons and multiple free agent years.

    • istillbelieveinblue - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      Your last sentence is basically the same point I made above, but in a more technical way. :) I think that is exactly what Theo/Jed were doing with the length. Spot on.

  7. thomas2727 - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Like Lou Brown said in Major League “It’s startin’ to come together”

    OOPS Wait, let me set a reminder to say “It’s startin’ to come together” in June of 2014.

    • bobwsc - Jun 11, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      now if he can only patrol the outfield like Mays-Hayes, and hit like Clu Haywood.

  8. drewsylvania - Jun 11, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    A) The new slotting system sucks and means that MLB considers competitive balance to be a four-letter word.
    B) Really happy Soler did not end up in the bleeping Bronx.

    • badintent - Jun 11, 2012 at 5:14 PM

      He should have gone to the Bronx, EVERYONE there speaks Spanish, comprede, senor muy feo y estupidio ??? “Say hello to my little friend” ..Tony Montaya. Funny, Cubs fans dug Lou and he was Yankee gringo para mucho anos.Claro que si ??? Epstein is Neuvo York Wall Street Jew biz guy, don’t let that
      Red Sox prison cell time fool ya.Es un Yankee jefe grande con cajones Hasta la vista , chico.

      • madhatternalice - Jun 11, 2012 at 5:22 PM

        Thanks for filling HBT’s racist quota of the day.

  9. ebergevin - Jun 11, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Olney just reported that Soler can opt out any time during his arbitration eligible years, so he might not be locked up entirely for 9 years…

    • ebergevin - Jun 11, 2012 at 4:33 PM

      Correction, he can NOT leave the Cubs but can re-negotiate the financial terms of the contract.

      • jwbiii - Jun 11, 2012 at 5:29 PM

        Right. If the arbitration money looks better, he can go that route.

  10. doctorfootball - Jun 11, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    You got your money, Jorge. Now I hope it brings you comfort while your team sits in the National League basement.

  11. randygnyc - Jun 11, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Hey badintent- GFY!!

  12. ajsjr40 - Jun 11, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Based upon Theo’s track record over the last few years with Boston odds are this dude is a bust. Spending for the sake of spending. New draft rules will slow the Cubs re-building by five years.

  13. ebergevin - Jun 11, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Any chance there was a team other than the Yankees that came in second in the bidding?

  14. kingdavid56 - Jun 11, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Who is this kid? All I know is he is from Cuba.

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