Not that you’d expect him to say anything different (nor would you necessarily expect the facts to be different), but Chicago Cubs GM Jed Hoyer has finally said something definitive about Cuban prospect Jorge Soler.
Namely, he said rumors of a deal are bogus.
“He’s not a free agent,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said this week, according to Patrick Mooney. “The rumors that we have a deal with him are just completely bogus. I don’t know where that started, but you guys [in the media] should not run with those rumors. They’re just rumors and they have no merit.”
An awfully stern denial, if I’ve heard one – and I mean that sincerely. It almost reads as angry.
Recall, because Soler is not a free agent – indeed, is not yet a citizen of the Dominican Republic, as far as we know – officially contracting with him (or negotiating with him, unofficially) would be a big no-no as far as both MLB and the U.S. Government are concerned. So, this is very much the kind of aggressive denial I would expect, whether the Cubs had had intimate discussions with Soler or not. Until now, the Cubs haven’t said much of anything about Soler when asked for an official comment.
For my part, I still believe the Cubs and Soler’s representatives have, at least vaguely and safely, outlined the parameters of what an acceptable deal would look like if Soler were a free agent. I don’t necessarily believe anything has been agreed to, nor do I necessarily believe Soler is a done-deal to the Cubs when he does reach free agency. A lot can still happen, as is often the case.
But the Cubs still feel like the favorite, and Jed Hoyer feels like a smart man, doing his job, and protecting the Cubs’ interests.