I’ll still have a big Jorge Soler piece tomorrow – his agents’ imposed deadline for teams to submit offers – but I thought this small bit worth passing on. Today, the 20-year-old Cuban outfield prospect worked out for teams (presumably who wanted to make sure he’d been staying in shape, and who wanted to see him one last time before offering up the big bucks), and, yes, the Chicago Cubs were among those in attendance.

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer spoke to reporters about the workout, and he confirmed the Cubs’ interest – the worst kept secret in the international amateur market – but was otherwise tight-lipped.

“We obviously scouted him extensively — a lot of teams have — and a lot of teams are involved,” Hoyer said. “We had a similar situation with [Yoenis] Cespedes this Winter. It will be intriguing. We’ve done our work on him.

“It’s not surprising [lot of teams are involved]. He’s really talented and there is that July 2 uniqueness that adds to it.”

Hoyer was, of course, referring to the date on which the international spending restrictions in the new CBA kick in. If Soler signs before July 2, he can get a whole lot more money than if he signs after that date.

And, more importantly, the Cubs can outbid everyone else without any consequences if they choose to.

By the way, even though tomorrow is the “deadline” to submit bids, be aware that it’s a completely and totally arbitrary deadline. This is not a “sealed bidding process” like the Yu Darvish posting process, for example (unless Soler’s agents want to run it that way). Instead, I would expect the agents will gather the offers tomorrow, and then inform some of the most interested teams of where they stand, and give them an opportunity to up the ante a bit. That is all to say: I’m not sure we’ll actually get a resolution by tomorrow. Or Friday.

But it will definitely come before July 2.

[Super paranoid thought: the Cubs’ brass usually says nothing at all about guys they actually want. Any chance Jed knows the Cubs aren’t going to bid big, and are confirming their interest very publicly to drive up the price? Nah. That’s super paranoid.]

  • ShootTheGoat

    Crossing my fingers. Hope we get him!!

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    really would love to see the club step up and get the guy that they want… and make a really great addition to the talent aquired in the draft.

  • KWAH-dee

    Have the Cubs big brass ever signed a big name free agent? So how do we know they’re usually tight lipped. How can you be with this kid. Bids placed part I. It’s a public auction. Ricketts better tell Theo…sell the farm. They best sign this kid if they really want us fans to believe they’re doing the right thing. Last chance to unload the piggy bank before Selig spoils the fun. Idea give them the check and tell them to add 5 million to the highest bid (if not by the Cubs). Get this done tomorrow!!!!!!!!

    • DocPeterWimsey

      And the other 29 teams are not thinking the same thing because….. (please fill in the blank.)

      • Kyle

        Well, most of them are either small-market teams who don’t have a piggy bank to empty, or they are trying to spend every last dollar on improving this year’s team because they didn’t think it was cool to just give up on entire seasons.

        I’m pretty convinced the Cubs intend to do the same thing they did with Concepcion and just go completely nuts on the kid, paying way over everyone else’s expectations. It’d at least partially explain the mysterious budget hole this year.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          True, and I was exaggerating because, well, what is discourse without hyperbole?  However, the Sox, Yankees and Marlins at least were at the workouts today, too.  In the end, the universe is a little bigger than the Cubs, and we just do not know how crazy some team might get here.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I know they’re tight-lipped because I’ve been following/covering baseball rumors for years. I’m not just talking about now that they’re with the Cubs – Theo and Jed have been this way for a long, long time.

      • TC

        and, unfortunately, they said all these kinds of things about Pujols and Fielder. Not that I wanted the Cubs to sign either of them, but still worth mentioning

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Indeed. I try not to be immediately distrusting, but these quotes from Hoyer … they do kind of have that flavor about them. But he knows WAY more about the situation than we do.

          • TC

            well, yea, and thats why I try not to overreact to too much of the signings/drafts/things of that nature, since they obviously know so so much more about the situation…but there is a trend the FO guys tend to follow that can be tracked, and these match up with it

          • Wilbur

            While it is impossible to climb into their heads; I submit the words last winter were offered honestly, but the context is different which drives a different action.

            With Pujols and Fielder you have players that were outside the optimal parameters Theoyer had set for acquiring players: talented, young, with a climbing performance expectation. I think Theoyer seriously considered Pujols and maybe Fielder and would have taken either, but only within a narrow range of financial terms that worked in their model and which other teams quickly exceeded.

            Soler on the other hand fits their parameters perfectly. So the words about how much they like him are the same, but as he fits their model the words more likely contain a willingness to make a more aggressive offer, in relative terms for Soler, than for either of the others. Cubs may get beat, but per my reading of the context they are seriously in the hunt as this is their last major over slot opportunity.

      • Joshua Edwards

        “Super paranoid thought: the Cubs’ brass usually says nothing at all about guys they actually want. Any chance Jed knows the Cubs aren’t going to bid big, and are confirming their interest very publicly to drive up the price? Nah. That’s super paranoid.”

        I don’t think it’s a coincidence we can all second-guess things to that level: it’s what a well-played poker move looks like. And it puts pressure on the other teams to make tough choices with their bids (Who wants to fight the Cubs in this situation? And what will they pay to do it? I don’t see another Oakland-esque bidder at the last minute).

        The Cubs big stack of chips (financial advantage) is clear to everyone involved, not to mention the way they’ve been laying the foundation for a Cuban-friendly franchise (an underappreciated asset of many organizations is the way people are welcomed, treated and supported, kudos to the Cubs for doing it with heart).

        All that to say, I think Team Epstein is playing poker with the big boys and they know how and when to throw their leverage around.

        I’m proud to be a Cubs fan with leadership like those guys.

  • oswego chris

    If I remember correctly from the winter…Baseball America(or someone else perhaps) said he would instantly be in the Cubs top 5 prospects….looking forward to hearing more about him

    • TC

      I seem to remember Kevin Goldstein sayiing he’d be a top 15-25 prospect in all of baseball, but don’t quote me on it

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Top 30 is closer, I believe. But yes, top 5 in Cubs’ system.

  • Garrett

    If the Cubs would sign him, do you think a 2014 Chicago debut is reasonable or would be later? or more crazy sooner?

    • North Side Irish

      Maybe September call up…he’ll still only be 22 years old in 2014. He’ll play a little this year…probably Low A ball and try to get used to living in another new country. Start next year at Hi A and maybe end up at AA. I don’t think there’s any reason to rush him.

      Of course I’d love to be wrong and have him force his way to up to Wrigley sooner…but I’m trying this whole “realistic Cubs fan” thing.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        There are some reports that say he is a very patient and polished hitter.  If that is the case, he could move up the system quickly enough to arrive mid season 2014.  Late 2014 or early 2015 is much more likely.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Could also depend on his deal. If he gets a big league deal (probably) and lands on the 40-man roster, the Cubs might be slightly more willing to call him up at some point in 2014 if he’s ready.

  • Cerambam

    It feels like just a blink ago I was worried about who the next top Cubs prospects were after Jackson got the call but now Rizzo Baez, sczurererer, lake,Cardenas plus hopefully almora and soler can give us a lot to look forward to

    • patrick

      Well, I was gonna write something but you said it first. Agreed.

    • LWeb23

      I dk about Cardenas. I haven’t been impressed one bit while he’s been with the big club thus far. But please Adrian, prove me wrong!

  • Jp

    Not trying to hijack this thread but Baez is “doing whatever he wants” in Peoria in general with a .343 avg and tonight he’s 3-4 with a triple. Brett or Luke any chance if he keeps raking it by the end of the year he makes it to double A or at least daytona? It seems Castro moves up at that pace so I guess there could be a precedent for it? What do you think ?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Him staying at Peoria for the rest of the year would actually be pretty impressive to me. A few games at Daytona late in the year? Maybe.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I doubt it.  I imagine the Cubs will leave him in Peoria for the rest of the season.  He could get a very, very late season promotion somewhere, but I imagine that will be it.

      If the Cubs want to rush him, they can do it next season.  Right now I think they want to focus on getting him used to the routine of playing professionally, every day.

      • Assman22

        Soler will sign a deal by the end of next week

      • Assman22

        And yes, if Soler signs with the Cubs, he will go through an “acclimation period” in Arizona and perhaps even Boise before heading to Peoria for the rest of the season

  • Mrp

    I had the same thought creep into my head about them maybe just driving up the cost. Going all out on this just makes way too much sense though so I still think they are genuinely in on him.

  • Stinky Pete

    There’s always a mystery team….

    • Alex

      I hate that team.

    • cjdubbya

      Mystery Team put together a heck of an offseason in free agency. Seems to happen every year.

  • JulioZuleta

    I see Jed’s comment a different way. Everyone knows that the Cubs are big on him. Maybe by openly admitting it, he’s trying to intimidate some teams and encourage them to withold a bid.

  • Cyranojoe

    I see something in his statement that no one has mentioned so far… he brought up Cespedes!

    Why would he bring up somebody whom the Cubs tried & failed to sign?

    He did it to push down expectations, I think. Not to say they’re not going to try, but perhaps, especially at this workout, they’ve gotten a better vibe of how much *other* teams might be in on Soler, and he’s prepared that we may not win this little game of high stakes prospects poker.

    That’s my current theory, anyway…

    • baseballet

      I agree Cyran, that’s what I thought when I read the quote. Mentioning Cespedes seems like he may be managing expectations.
      We do not yet know how much the Cubs will be willing to spend on team payroll going forward. We only know that they didn’t spend a lot this season when compared to the top tier of MLB payrolls. It may be that they want to get the rebuild started first, and that next year they’ll significantly increase payroll. However it’s also possible that the Cubs will not be a top 6 spender on payroll. It may be that they will fall into the second tier of payroll spending and will try to overcome the dollar gap with front office brain power.
      If they don’t plan to spend like a top tier team, then they might be a little more cautious in their Soler bid because they have to manage costs.

  • supergeek24

    Six years 32 mil my guess

  • Ben

    Random thought but I wonder where Concepcion would have gone in this draft…….3-5th rounds?
    (no sorry just messed it up on the spelling)

    • Joe

      Concepcion? Or were you making a joke? I would say possibly late 1st round based on limited information.

    • Joe

      We’re cool. I didn’t know if you making a funny or not.(I did see a joke there, and so many posters have good ones, I didn’t know) Anyway, as I am sure Brett would say, the information was limited on Concepcion and whether he pans out is a lottery ticket. Could be another big payoff! The bottom line is the Cubs are heading in the right direction after so many years of futility. It all started with the shake-up in management, which is usually what it takes to turn a big ship around!

  • Ben

    He has been pretty good his last few outings…..I hope he pans out (Concepcion)

  • Cheryl

    The $27 million that was thought of in regard to a cubs bid is probably long gone. I would think he would have to get a guaranteed roster spot and $36 million over six years.