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That may have been fast.

Yesterday we learned that the Chicago Cubs were intensifying their pursuit of 19-year-old Cuban outfield prospect Jorge Soler, though we’d known for months that the Cubs were very interested.

Were those reports actually a bit too modest? Have the Cubs actually come to terms with Soler?

According to the Tribune’s Dave van Dyke, citing “multiple reports from the Dominican Republic,” the answer is yes. It was a bit of odd phrasing, and an odd way to break what would be pretty big news (the Soler piece is kind of buried among an otherwise fluffy article about this Winter’s Cuban defectors).

BP’s Kevin Goldstein later added his confirmation, saying on Twitter that he believes the Cubs have come to terms with Soler, and will sign him when Soler is officially cleared by the U.S. government to execute a contract. Goldstein added his belief that the deal is for four years, but is traditional in the sense that Soler will not be granted free agency at the end of those four years. The Cubs will still have the typical six years of Major League control. No one has yet stated whether it will be a Major League deal, requiring that Soler be put on the team’s 40-man roster. Given that Gerardo Concepcion got a ML deal, I’d be surprised if Soler didn’t.

One of the reports on Sunday had the Cubs willing to spend as much as $27.5 million on Soler – is it possible that the reason that such a specific number was mentioned was because that was, like, *the* number? Van Dyke and Goldstein have suggested that it is. On a four-year deal, I’d imagine that Soler would be getting a huge signing bonus (as much as half of that total), with the rest being spread relatively evenly over the four years.

So, how excited should we be? Well, once the signing actually goes down, very excited. Soler will probably be considered by most to be one of the Cubs’ top three or four prospects (and will be considered their top prospect by many). This is like picking up another top 10 draft pick in 2012 – it’s the kind of thing that doesn’t have an immediate impact, but it’s a big, big deal.

But, until the signing is announced – Soler isn’t even a free agent yet – I’m going to keep my excitement in check. Bruce Levine reached out to Soler’s agent, Barry Praver, who declined comment. I’m not interested in being a Debbie Downer – Soler will very probably sign with the Cubs – but I don’t want to be burned when the Oakland A’s swoop in with a guaranteed spot on the 25-man roster this year.

  • http://Casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

    The 27.5 figure was also the supposed amount of the Cubs offer to Cespedes.

  • Serio

    4 years? So now where does this put the Cubs farm system

    • http://punshouse.com Nate Corbitt

      Kevin Goldstein says Soler would be the #1 prospect in the system.

      • Serio

        Bullshit….really!?

        • CubFan Paul

          goldstein did say #1 but i don’t buy it. not over the ML ready pair of BJax & Rizzo

          • kevin

            Neither bjax or rizzo are MLB ready. both will fly by 100 k’s bc of a lack of making contact. Rizzo didn’t exactly tear it up with his extended stay in the MLB last year. His swing is rather long with an ascending approach to the ball. Prospects are based on their potential coupled with a analytical view towards stats. That is why Soler would rank as high if not higher.

            • CubFan Paul

              Both Rizzo&BJax are ML ready and will start the season in AAA because of their arbitration clocks not because LaHair&Soriano/Byrd taking up roster spots ..and the only thing wrong with Rizzo’s swing WAS Petco

              and even the top of the rotation stuff that McNutt has should have him ranked higher than a cuban who has never played low A. McNutt could easily be another mid season call up after Dempster, Wells, & Garza get traded

              • http://Www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                Disagree. Both guys legitimently need more time in minors for continued develoment.

                • CubFan Paul

                  only on a team has a sunken cost of $54M in Left Field. its legitimately about service time for BJax & if LaHair starts the season 5 for 46 at the plate Rizzo’s “development” goes out the window

                  • Kyle

                    You are way, way, way overselling Jackson’s MLB readiness.

                    He only has 48 games at AAA, where he struck out way too often and had a nice slash line boosted by a very friendly BABIP.

                    He could probably not completely suck in the majors, but at the very least a partial year in the minors is definitely what’s best for him.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      agreed kyle. but that wasnt my point. to me, ML ready meansthey can start in the Majors now/available to be called up this season *(because they are capable of playing everyday or can hold down a bench job/fill in for injury)* bjax and rizzo fall into that category

                    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                      CubFan Paul – Does that mean Junior Lake is MLB ready since he’s on the 40 man and is available to be called up?

                  • David

                    As you already acknowledged, it’s about service time. Rizzo will not be called up no matter how bad LaHair might start out. Hoyer has been vocal about Rizzo needing more time…and if they want to push his clock back another year, a slow start from LaHair on a team headed nowhere isn’t going to change that. That’s something the old regime would’ve done.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      its February, of course Hoyer is saying whatever now. if Rizzo bats .331/.404/.652 during Spring Training and gets sent down & puts up a similar line at Iowa, he’ll be called up if LaHair gets exposed in April/May quicker than quade can say “campy, demp, or margie”

                    • WGNstatic

                      Re: Rizzo’s service time.

                      Jackson’s case is more clear, as he hasn’t played in the MLB yet.

                      For Rizzo though, how long would he have to spend in AAA this year to delay his clock? He appeared in 46 games last year for SD. If he spends 46+ games in Iowa would that be enough to make his 2011-2012 games “not count” towards his FA service clock?

              • Brian Myers

                Rizzo batted worse on the road, a terrible .118

                So it wasn’t just Petco. As far as bringing Rizzo up early, they might, but it doesn’t seem likely. The consensus from what I read is that the Padres rushed him and he needed some more time in the minors. Unless he’s made those adjustments in the off season there is no reason to rush him to the majors. These guys are designing a team not for this year (regardless of what the manager states) but for the long term.

                • CubFan Paul

                  it was just Petco. You go and try to alter your swing after a petco homestand, then back to petco, then the road etc..

                • ferrets_bueller

                  AAA last year actually might have hurt Rizzo, and it showed in the majors. His swing was already long, but allegedly the hitter friendly PCL made it even longer. If he can get it shortened up a bit in spring training, he’ll be pretty close to ready.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    ferrets, if AAA/PCL was the cause, theres no way Theo&Co send him to Iowa/PCL after Spring Training

                    Rizzo “changed”/altered his swing to “adapt” to PETCO in September and now all of a sudden he needs “development” ..his AAA stint was fine .331/.404/.652

                    • Brian Myers

                      I would make the counter point that this seems like the very definition of requiring more time in the minors.

                      By AAA most players either:

                      A) Have the mental game.
                      B) Have the Physical game.
                      C) Have both.

                      With either A or B you have the potential to have good stats. With plenty of one and an average amount of the other you can put up some big numbers. But you need (in most cases) a good amount of both to be a success in the big show.

                      Some people state Petco knocks 50 points off your BA. If that’s the case, he was a .220 hitter last year. So, the question becomes, why did he fail? He may have mentally changed his stroke and physically couldn’t make it come around. So he was a youngster both off on his mental and physical game. Dropping him on a ML team won’t change that other than to give him a bit more confidence. He needs playing time and he needs work. He’s not getting that unless LaHair really stinks it up. Point being, he can put more effort into the mental and physical aspects of his game in AAA. I’m not saying you are wrong, actually I’m agreeing that Petco could have had a tremendous effect on his game. But the fact he couldn’t play baseball anymore to his standards ANYWHERE indicates an individual that still needs to develop as a player… most likely upstairs (in his head) than with his body.

                    • ferrets_bueller

                      That, my friend, is an absurd conclusion.

                • Jeremy

                  It seems to me that a lot of people seem to forget the Rizzo is a year behind on his development due to being sick. So giving him time in the minors at the beginning of the year is the way to go with him so he can work on hitting lefties.

            • Cedlandrum

              153 ab’s is not an extended stay. Sigh!

          • Brian Myers

            Also remember that being the #1 prospect doesn’t mean he is better at this point. Being a “prospect” means, essentially, he would grade out as having the highest potential to succeed (and that level of success) in the majors according to scouts. He’s still a long way away from everything I’ve read.

        • Brian

          dude is a top 15 prospect in all of baseball type talent would of went top 10 in the draft this year easily.

          • Chaz

            Where have you read that? All reports I’ve seen would put him around 50th. He can be anywhere from 1-3 in our system

            • CubFan Paul

              Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus said Soler “would of went top 10 in the draft this year easily”

              • Chaz

                Top 10 in last year’s draft does not mean top 15 in all of baseball as Brian stated.

            • David

              Goldstein tweeted that he would go top 10 in the upcoming draft. And that he would be 39th on his list (if you include Cespedes where he put him, 20th).

              • DocWimsey

                heh, ChiSox fans must be glad that there are no big prospects to be signed: one more would bump their only Top 100 prospect off of some lists!

  • http://punshouse.com Nate Corbitt

    Me likey!

  • oswego chris

    If this is true…which I believe it is because if there is this much smoke..yada, yada, yada
    then it will be pretty remarkable what the Theotles have done as far as long term assets….if you figure that they will have added two TOP five guys-Soler and Rizzo, a border line 10 guy-Concepcion…guys who rank in some top 30′s-Cates, Reynoldes….

    not to mention Wood, and Volstad are only not prospects because they were brought up early..

    at the cost of Big Z and Cashner?….it’s pretty impressive…

    • cls

      And Marshall

      • Mick

        and Marshall could still re-sign with us next off-season hehehe.

        • CubFan Paul

          yea. Marshall was an expiring contract that Theo&Co. turned into 3 Farm Top 20s. Highway Robbery

  • Leroy Kleimola

    Brett, I swear If you are pulling my leg….Just kidding. I really hope this happens!!!

  • Cliffy

    Brett, correct me if im wrong. Didn’t the rumor about Soler @ 27.5 million surface on Sunday? If so then the Cubs felt they had their primary target in pocket. When they revisited the Cespedes bidding they may have felt less inclined to match or surpass the Oakland offer. That’s what I get for going to bed early you miss some late night twitter excitement.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah, that’s possible. And yeah, you’re right – that number came up first on Sunday.

  • So Ill Cub Fan

    Baez, Vogelbach, Golden, Concepcion, Maples and, maybe, Soler. The Peoria Chiefs could be a fun and interesting team to watch this year!

    • Brian Myers

      I live near St Louis, I’d make the drive to see that club!

    • Cedlandrum

      I don’t think Maples will be in Peoria. I don’t know that for sure, but i feel like they will take there time with him and smooth out his delivery. I believe he will stay in extended and then do Boise.

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        It could go either way. Plenty of reports out there (see Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook for example) saying that the Cubs are not that concerned with Maples delivery. If he shows up in camp in shape and the Cubs think he can handle a full season, he might open up in Peoria.

  • Steve

    4 years and 27 million? Explain to me how this is GREAT news? Yes, It’s exciting (if true), yet it seems to be the concensus that he is basically the equivalent of a top 10-20 draft pick. Is Javier Baez expected to be a productive major leaguer next year, or the year after? How long has Trout been in the minors? How about Harper ??
    Again, I am thrilled if we have signed this cat. That being said, please explain to me why this is a good thing for the Cubs.

    • http://Www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Next year has nothing to do with it. He would be under control until he is 25 years old. Adding long term assets is always a good thing and the money doesnt prevent the Cubs from doing other things.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        He’ll be under control for longer than that – the Cubs get six years of Major League control. Soler won’t be in the bigs for a few years, so he’s going to be in the organization for a long time (if the Cubs want it).

        • baldtaxguy

          Which is “…a good thing…!”

          • EQ76

            also, with the new spending rules that apply before the next amateur draft, this is most likely the last time the Cubs can sign a prospect without limitations.

        • ferrets_bueller

          So, correct me if I’m wrong, the way this works it this- he gets paid a minor league salary for how ever many years he’s in the minors, then when he reaches the majors, his 4 years, 28 million starts? To be followed by two years of arbitration?
          Or does the 4 years 28 million start immediately?

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            No. 4/$27.5M would start immediately (well, minus whatever signing bonus). From there, he’s subject to the normal pre-arb/arbitration salary rules as everyone else – Jeff Samardzija is the example. He had a big league deal, which means only that he was on the 40-man and making guaranteed money pursuant to his contract, and, when it ended, he didn’t have enough ML service time for free agency, so his contract was governed by the CBA. He wasn’t yet eligible for arbitration, so the Cubs could renew his contract at whatever rate they wanted (subject to the rule about not decreasing a guy’s salary on renewal by more than 20%).

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Explain to me first why it matters that he’ll have to spend some time in the minors (like 99.9% of all Major Leaguers), and then I might be in a better position to answer you.

      • Steve

        See below…I wasn’t aware of how much control we would have, and having him in the minors for 2 of the 4 years (if that was all the control we had) does not seem prudent.

    • baldtaxguy

      I don’t know – please explain why  “…its exciting (if true)…” is not “…a good thing for the Cubs?”

    • Brian Myers

      If he’s the real deal, they’ve just landed a home grown power hitter. Name the last Cub that qualified for that? You can maybe reference a guy or two that ended up playing in Japan… but realistically, the last time they developed the “real deal” it was… maybe… Rafael Palmeiro. That’s a looooooong time.

  • http://Www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    Just seems like odd timing since he can’t sign yet.
    But top 4 seems accurate. Concepcion is ranked any where from 6 by Goldstein (or was it Law?) but BA had him at 19. From what I’ve read I’d probably put him closer to BA.

  • rcleven

    Assuming Soler sigh’s major league deal, who is off the 40 man roster. Two Cubans signed two roster spots to be cleared.

    • Mick

      Andy Sonnestine? We might not need to make that decision though becuase we’re about to lose someone to the Red Sox as compensation for Theo. So, this is a pretty convienient delay we’re experiencing in Soler signing.

  • daveyrosello

    oswego,

    Don’t forget, Team Theo also added Ronald Torreys (sp?) in the Marshall trade, he’s supposedly a near-top 10-quality 2B prospect. Casey Weathers was added from SD, he looks like a bust, but he was a top 10 1st round pick the same year as Vitters. And new infielder Cardenas–who I guess is essentially replacing Blake DeWitt–was on top 100 prospect lists as recently as 2010.

    When Theo and Jed said at their introductory press conference they were focussed on increasing the Cubs’ portfolio of long-term “assets” as they like to call them, well, these guys weren’t kidding. A very productive off-season, about the only thing more I could wish for frankly would be to somehow move Soriano.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      (Weathers was from Colorado in the Stewart deal.)

  • MontelleW_IA

    Something of interest – non related to the article above.
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1065309-report-cubs-considering-playing-home-games-at-us-cellular-field-in-2013

    Looks like the cubs may be playing home games at Cellular Field in 2013? During the year we’re all hoping to maybe contend again? Couple that with playing in a goat-curse free stadium and Championship here we come! Of course I know curses aren’t real, but sometimes it’s hard not to believe when it’s been this long LOL

  • http://bleachernation.com Butch Cub

    Dropping someone off the 40 man is not that big of a deal if we are adding a STUD like Soler. We are losing someone to Boston anyway, so there is one… I am certainly not worried about the financial amount of this deal, mainly because it will be one of the last times EVER you will be able to buy a great prospect by merely outbidding everyone else, due to rule changes. We did not spend on heavily on free agents this year, so we chose to invest in the future of this team. I say BRAVO team Epstein!

  • http://Ehanauer.com Clark Addison

    The last home grown power hitter who actually hit for power with the Cubs was not Palmeiro but Billy Williams. And that was over a half century ago.

    • DocWimsey

      Um, Palmeiro had a ton of power. Yes, the roids added a little, but they don’t turn Juan Pierre into Mickey Mantle. The bigger issue was that Palmeiro adjusted his swing to drive the ball: when he came up, he swung for contact and rarely struck out, but he didn’t hit for anywhere near the power that he could have done. (Again, 1987 had a rabbit ball, so that was a little misleading.) However, as Palmeiro started to swing to drive the ball, his BA on the balls he put into play went way up due to the added HR & doubles. (That started pretty soon after he left the Cubs, unsurprisingly….)

      Joe Carter was another power hitter produced by the Cubs system.

      And, of course, the Cubs have produced a ton of guys with power, but with such poor batting eyes that they were not able to hit well at MLB level.

      • Brian Myers

        Bonus points for the Joe Carter reference… I had forgotten he came up through their system. But if we have to go back more than 25 years to find a guy that can hit for power and hit his weight, then we get an idea why people will get excited about this signing. Heck, he might be over hyped and not a good hitter either…. but this is one case where I’ll be happy to dream for a few years.

        • DocWimsey

          Bonus points or showing my age? ;-)

          But, yeah, the Cubs have been abysmal at developing position players in general. Two legit power hitters since Billy Williams? The Yanks have developed 2 legit power hitters since Bernie Williams……

    • RoughRiider

      Define your criteria for power hitter.

      • Brian Myers

        I would say that depends on the era. Castro will have some pop, but he’s not a power hitter. Guys like Dawson, Soriano. Sosa, Ron Cey, Sandberg, Leon Durham… all had power, didn’t come through the system. They also need to hit their weight, which begins to eliminate guys like “Tuffy” Rhodes…. so a good hitter with pop that could go in the 3rd, 4th or 5th hole.

        • hcs

          Also, Tuffy Rhodes came up through the Astros system, and came to the Cubs via trade with KC.

        • RoughRiider

          You may be able to add Soto and Colvin to the List, if not now in the future.

          • Brian Myers

            But since Colvin is now with Colorado, that leaves Soto. But he’ll need to stay with the club and develop into a consistent 20+ HR guy…and at age 29 (which is a bit older by the knees of a Catcher) he will need to take it to the next level in the next couple years.

            • RoughRiider

              You changed your criteria.

              • Brian Myers

                Yes, yes I did. :-)

                I really don’t care too much about the power hitters this system developed that never helped the Cubs. This is a team traditionally built from the outside… at least for the past 40 years. :-(

        • DocWimsey

          Off the cuff, anybody with an isoP (SLG-BA) of 0.2 or more is a slugger. For a decent overall hitter, that usually means a slugging of 0.45 or better.

          • Brian Myers

            True, but I don’t think you need a stat that states “this guy is a slugger”. If he comes up to bat and you think “this game could be over” because you know in your bones with one swing this guy can end it… he’s a slugger. It’s something beyond “power”. It’s that feeling of “I’m about to watch something special because this guy is going to hit it a mile.”

            I kept his name out of it because he was only on the Cubs (and majors) for a short while (and didn’t exactly capture the spirit of this discussion) but Héctor Villanueva was a home grown slugger. For a two year span you saw Hector waddle up to the plate and you just had to smile.

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  • rbreeze

    If Soler signs with the Cubs that will be icing on the cake for this year.  Nice job by Theo and Jed.  Theo and Jed invested a lot in Rizzo and have faith in him.  Jed admitted that he brought him up too soon last year.  Maybe he was taking some heat off the kid but Rizzo is a couple years removed from fighting cancer.  Let the kid develop in Iowa this year and bring him up when ready.  Soler looks like a beast!!!

  • Alex

    Heyman is being a buzzkill. This tweet came in about 45 minutes ago.

    cespedes II: #cubs, many mystery teams (#marlins?) in mix for 5-tool phenom jorge soler— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) February 14, 2012

    https://twitter.com/#!/JonHeymanCBS/status/169429869497819138

    • DRock

      Don’t listen to Heyman. He’s an idiot.

      • ferrets_bueller

        ^this.

    • Brian

      Mulitple mention on the radio plus other stirrings, lead me to believe the Soler signing is done. But, you never know.

  • DRock

    I want this kid in Cubbie blue. My parents live in Peoria and I will be going to watch him if he’s starting out in single A. Get this deal done, Jedstein!

  • DRock

    He reminds of Mike Stanton and if he lives up to his hype, he will hit A LOT of homers at Wrigley.

  • OHBearCub

    I don’t think LaHair is going to stink up anything. He is going to hit well at the big league level just as he did in his call up. When Rizzo is ready LaHair will move to left field and platoon with Soriano until Soriano is gone. If LaHair hits like he should then he stays in the Line up. We will desperately need his RBI production which I believe he will be one of the best contributors this ball club has in 2012. Theo thinks he will be successful he has stated it in interviews. I liked what I saw of him when he was called up. Considering Quade took him off 1st base his natural position and put him in the outfield. He didn’t embarrass himself in the outfield. He will not have the range that others might have. But his potential to drive in runs and hit HR’s is definitely needed with this team current make up. He could become a very nice trade piece if he hits well up to the trade deadline. At any rate he will be no worse than Soriano in left.

    With DeJesus, LaHair and Rizzo in the lineup as left handed batters we should be okay until Jackson gets the call. At that point we will have 5 left handed hitters with Stewart and Jackson. Castro and Barney won’t embarrass themselves. I don’t expect much run production out of Stewart or Barney. But have hopes about the rest of the lineup.

  • OHBearCub

    Soler will be a nice addition to the farm system. He should probably start out in Daytona. If he does well then off to Tennessee for the remainder of the season. Next year he should be in Iowa at some point if not right out of the gate. Maybe in 2015 he gets a shot to be an everyday player. At 19 he doesn’t need to be rushed along IMO. The Cubs have tried that too many times with guys like Pie and Patterson and they met too much controversy because they weren’t quite ready. I think management caves into fan pressure to see a kid at Wrigley. I doubt Theo succumbs to that pressure. I like the idea of having some serious young colts in the stable. They just can’t race with the older horses yet.

    • DRock

      Peoria or Daytona sounds about right for Soler.

    • Kyle

      Daytona is way too aggressive, and there’s almost no way he hits Tennessee by the end of the year.

      The kid *just* turned 19. He’ll be 19 for all of next season. The youngest player to appear for Daytona last season was Jae-Hoon Ha, who was 20 all of last year.

      The age-appropriate level for Soler would be extended spring training and then Boise. If they are feeling like he can handle an aggressive move, then they *might* start him at Peoria.

      Personally, I’d rather start conservatively with a foreign prospect, who is dealing with both the transition to pro ball and the transition to a new country and culture. You can always promote him aggressively later after he gets his feet under him.

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        Extended spring training for sure. I doubt the Cubs make any further decisions until they see him in camp. Goldstein seemed to think last night that he would head to Peoria eventually.

        Ex. ST -> Peoria could possibly work, depending on how far along he actually is. I just hope he gets signed early enough he gets into camp for spring training. There is no guarantee of that. He may not start his professional career until much later.

      • JB88

        I was just in Daytona last week for work. Weather-wise the transition would probably benefit Soler, but I agree that extended ST and then Boise is the way to go with him.

  • Steve

    Wow, a few snippy responses I wasn’t expecting. I was merely asking for clarity as i wasn’t clear as to how this worked out in regards to us having control of the player after 4 years and at least 2 of them in the minors. I certainly hope this forum doesn’t turn into another site (CBSsportline) where it has become a battle ground.

    • Brian

      It’s all in the wording for these fine folks on here.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      For what it’s worth, my response (a question to you) was sincere. The Cubs wouldn’t have him for four years. They’d have him for however many years he’s in the minors, plus six years of Major League control. The four year contract, in his case, is just the way he’ll be paid in those first four years (i.e., he’ll make a ton more money than a typical minor leaguer).

      • CubFan Paul

        since when did this become rocket science to baseball fans?

      • JB88

        It would be a great deal for the Cubs. Ensure that they keep Soler around long term and only for money.

      • Steve

        Thank you for the information. I’m certain you could see how I might look at this initially and say ‘Wow, I’m excited we signed this guy”, and then examine it closer and think ” Wow, kinda pressing the kid to be something in a short period of time”, not knowing the extent of team control.
        I have very thick skin and have enjoyed my short stay here on BN. It appears that most of the residents here are courteous and knowledgable.
        So dont &^%@ with me and we’ll all be happy! :)

  • So Ill Cub Fan

    Low A is Peoria. High A is Daytona. Florida State League is considered a pitcher’s league. They may prefer Soler get his feet wet at Peoria.

    • Jeremy

      Correct me if I am wrong please but wasn’t the league that he played in draw comparisons to High-A ball or was that Cespedes?

  • Jay Anderson Jr

    Hey Brett, can you give me a couple Twitter links to follow. I Follow BBQ’D, but that’s about it for baseball.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Depends on what you like – breaking news/rumors/etc.? Funny baseball stuff? News only? Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal, Jon Morosi, Buster Olney, Jayson Stark – for all the crap they get – are pretty good. Goldstein and Jim Callis are good follows.

      • Toosh

        I always combine Heyman’s name with Olney’s. Gives me a chuckle. Buster Heyman.

      • Jay Anderson Jr

        Thanks. BTW, BBQ’D was supposed to be BN, butt my phone changed it.

  • McKaley

    The future looks amazing. Considering we haven’t spent too much money in FA this year, and still have a few years to developed kids, when it does happen (fingers crossed) be prepared for an excellent hitting/fielding/(hopefully garza)pitching ball club that will win a lot of games, by a lot of runs and only need to sign one or two big names to push us over “the edge”

    I am truly excited, and seeing as my two grandfathers (both cubs fans) passed away, within the last year I hope it happens soon and often. Baseball is a game of inches, and numbers and if everything balances out in the end, get ready for an exciting decade here soon

  • Jeremy
    • cls

      Yes I’m seeing a lot of tweets now backing off the notion that the Cubs have an agreement with Soler.

      I hope they are wrong, but not good news for sure.

      • JB88

        It doesn’t mean anything.

        Who are the people reporting this? U.S. based reporters, lots of which are in Chicago.

        From whom are they getting that information? Probably more likely guys in the Chicago camp, maybe some from Barry Praver.

        What would be the motivation for denouncing the report? Either no deal is in place or the parties don’t want the information about the deal to be leaked yet. So it doesn’t mean there isn’t a deal, it may just mean that certain parties don’t want the info out there at this point.

        • Jeremy

          No, I get that. I would just rather there be an actual announcement that a deal is in place like everyone else. It’s concerning because we see reports that an agreement is made and then we see things like this.

          • JB88

            There can be no announcemnt about any deal until he at least sets up residency in the DR (which I don’t think has even come through yet) and most prudent teams wouldn’t even ink a contract until Soler has a work visa, which may be weeks away.

            I think that the fact that the smoke originated from the DR and then was scuttled by U.S. based journalists is more telling than anything. And, to me, it probably means that the deal is more likely in place but, for varying reasons, the Cubs don’t want that information out there at this point.

            • Jeremy

              That makes sense. Didn’t think about it that way.

  • DRock

    Here is a great scouting report for Soler: http://baseballprospectnation.com/2012/02/14/scouting-report-jorge-soler-of/
    They are projecting him to start out at low-A Peoria.

  • djriz

    How about starting ALL the Cubans we signed (4 I think) together in extended spring then Boise…let them get acclimated together then next year put them in their proper full season league.

  • Louis

    Chicago CUBanS

  • Brian Schmidt

    I keep hearing people are worried that this agreement has not yet happened. More than likely there is an agreement but anything can still happen. For those who see things saying there are still teams that can swoop in might a bring some logical thoughts I see as to why we have signed Soler. The Cubs were pushing hard for Cepedes, probably more than Soler before a few nights ago when the rumor was that the Cubs are pushing hard for Soler. Could this have been that the Cubs saw Cepedes was not going to sign and thus quickly moved to Soler? I don’t know about you guys but I didn’t see any other rumors saying that other clubs were pushing hard to sign Soler, until after Cepedes had signed. Could the Cubs gotten a head start before everyone turned their focus on Soler? This, to me could have even gone as far back as when the Cubs brass went down to the DR to have their annual meetings and see how the new facility was going. Could they have talked to both players, shown them around, given what their offer was and leave it at that? Put up smokescreens saying they are still in the running for Cepedes knowing he wasn’t going to sign because of the years Cepedes wanted? Either way, I feel that Epstein and Hoyer played it perfectly, and the fact that the Cubs name was brought up right away and no other teams was, outside of the fact they can swoop in and give him a better contract, proves that there is something concrete that we have Soler.

    • Steve

      Have we really landed on the moon? Was there another shooter in the Kennedy assasination? I LOVE conspiracies!!!!

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