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.

  • njriv

    Tim Dierkes report on MLBTR confused me, he doesn’t mention anything about the previous reports.

  • Luis Salazar

    Buster Olney of reports that the Yankees have “serious interest” in Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler.
    Reports swirled late Monday night that the Cubs were expected to sign Soler, but we can officially call those premature, as it’s clear that many other teams have strong interest in in the 19-year-old outfielder. Previous reports have indicated that the Phillies, Rangers, Marlins and Red Sox could also get involved, though the field of interested teams is likely larger.

    • Luke

      Baseball America is reporting that if Soler did agree to a deal with the Cubs, it would be in violation of US and MLB laws and rules. I’m not sure if that is referring to a written, final agreement, or to anything short of that.

      I suspect that three things are currently true: (1) Soler has decided to sign with the Cubs, (2) the Cubs and Soler’s agent have had conversations regarding what the deal will look like, and have probably agreed to the framework of the deal (years, rough dollar amounts, etc.), (3) since Soler cannot officially sign, other teams are stepping up their efforts to lure Soler away from his decision to join the Cubs.

      If that is the case, it explains Goldstein’s tweets and the Tribune story, explains why other reporters are saying other teams are still involved, and would not place either party in violation of any law or rule.

      • http://bleachernation loyal100more

        i think you nailed it.

  • Frank

    We’d probably have gotten them all if Mark Cuban had bought the team (I know–it’s bad, but I couldn’t resist).

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    David vandyke of the tribune says did indeed sign Jorge Soler to a 4 yr deal for 27.5million, however other reports state that the Yankees are going hard after Soler as well! Brett keep the updates coming!

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    all bs aside… concepceon and soler are close friends… we are preped to pay the man and are involved in meetings with his agent. things look about as good as they can. but we have not reached an agreement of any kind with the guy… lets be frank.

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  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    white sox get fukudome for a year at 1M… great signing!

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    the soler deal in principal is on the table… i mean the likelyhood that any team will top the 27.5M we have put out there in mu opinion is unlikely. id assume he signs with the cubs but as we have seen this offseason the mystery team is beyond reason in they’re offers. id almost go as far as saying the 27.5M for a 19 year old cuban is unreasonable… but im glad for a change that its my team that has blazed the finantial trail that all other teams must get on to be considered suiters on soler.

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