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I thought it worthwhile to have a centralized place for us to play the waiting game today, as we await 20-year-old Cuban prospect Jorge Soler’s final (final) decision on which team he’ll be signing with for an exorbitant amount of money.

The decision is expected by all sides to come at some point today (UPDATE: Buster Olney was just on the radio saying we might not hear for another 48 to 72 hours … you must be pulling my leg), and the Cubs are still a teeny, tiny favorite, but by no means prohibitive. The teams thought to be most involved at this point are the Cubs, Yankees, Dodgers, and Braves, with the Cubs and Yankees believed to be the biggest bidders. As of this moment (10:17 am CT), no one seems to know anything more than that with any kind of real certainty.

My guess? He’s traveling to the site of a press conference as we speak. (Per that previous update, maybe not.)

So, we wait. Unleash the obsession in the comments, if you’d like. And if you hear anything, drop it in there as well. The waiting is the hardest part, but it can also be the most exciting and fun.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Tim Brown says the Dodgers are out.

MOSTLY NON-UPDATE: Jon Heyman says other execs still think the Cubs are the favorite, but he’s not committing to anything. So, yeah, mostly a non-update.

OK, NOW HERE’S AN UPDATE: Joel Sherman, who was the first to note that Theo Epstein to the Cubs could actually happen, says he’s heard the Cubs won the bidding. Squeee…. wait. Wait for it.

A REINFORCING UPDATE: Kevin Goldstein cites a source who told him last night that he didn’t think the Cubs had a “choke point” on Soler, and would keep one-upping all bids until they got him. If so, the price could be mighty steep.

  • cls

    I need a beer.

    • Jp

      Make that 2 please. I’m going to be pissed If we sign him to a $35 million deal and find out he’s not a growing 20 year old but he’s a finished product 28 year old

    • beerhelps

      despite my screen name, I’ll take something harder than beer…

  • Sean

    Blue Jays emerging as legit, late contenders. Crap.

  • Jim

    20 bucks says he signs with someone obscure, like the Padres.

    Just saying.

  • Drew

    Anyone have any idea when the press conference would be? Or would we know where he was going if we knew that? Is it going to be one of those things where the presser is announced 10 minutes before?

  • Cub Gone Wild

    What do we have to say about Theo if he goes elsewhere? I start to question everything with great scrutiny.

    • http://twitter.com/SouvenirCity Engine 78

      We say he lost out on an international free agent, find out if his offer was on par with others and move on? I find it hard to evaluate a front office’s performance on one possible international signing. We just completed a whole draft and I haven’t seen anyone question that with great scrutiny yet. Some of those kids might be closer to the major leagues than Soler.

    • GeorgeHermanLaHair

      I honestly believe the Cubs will have the best offer. If he goes somewhere else there was nothing Theo and CO. could have done IMO.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      What will Yankees fans say about Cashman if he lets the Cubs get Soler?  What will Dodgers fans say about Colletti if he lets the Cubs get Soler?

      Here is the deal.  If Colletti gets Soler, then both Yankee fans and Cubs fans will be saying a lot of the same things.  Here is the corollary: they cannot both be correct.

      • Kyle

        “What will Yankees fans say about Cashman if he lets the Cubs get Soler?”

        Nice try on that random Cuban kid, but thanks for the playoff-bound juggernaut.

        ” What will Dodgers fans say about Colletti if he lets the Cubs get Soler?”

        Nice try on that random Cuban kid, but thanks for the playoff-bound juggernaut.

  • Ben in Nebraska

    Given that the Cubs can’t actually lose on the field today, it’d be nice to go 2-2 and nab Soler as well. Seems a bit greedy of me though and I probably just jinxed the whole damn thing!

  • MikeL

    I was wondering about the Blue Jays, since they barely lost out on Darvish (by a few hundred thousand dollars) I think they are going all in on Soler.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’ve wondered why they hadn’t been called major players.

  • Cheryl

    Brett, If there’s a press conferencethe winning team must know whether they’ve won. I’m assuming a representarive of that team well be at the press conference. Any word on movement by the Yankees or Cubs in that direction?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No. But that’s definitely what I’m watching for – any kind of hint that a press conference is forthcoming by any team. Mainstream media will be notified first, though.

  • MightyBear

    Yankees making a late push. Watch out for evil empire

  • Rylee

    I really really hope the Cubs don’t lose out on Soler. Us Cub fans need something to cheer about!!

  • Cub Gone Wild

    At this point if I’m Solder and I get to choose. Do I become a Yankee or a Cub or do I become a Brave or a Cub or do I become a Blue Jay or a Cub
    Do I sign with a loser or a winner? HMMM I would need a great deal more to be a Cub all things being equally. Our odds aren’t good at this point. Not getting my hopes up.

    • MaxM1908

      Yeah, but something to consider is that the Theo and Jed have been doing a lot more leg work over these past 6 months than the other teams have. It’s likely that Soler has a personal relationship with Theo and Jed whereas the others are late to the party. A young kid may want to reward the team that has expressed the most interest in him all along. Besides, going to the Yankees may mean he’s one of a dozen young promising players likely to get lost in the shuffle. With the Cubs, he has the potential to stand out and be an impact player on a faster time line.

      • When the Music’s Over

        In a perfect world one would hope this relationship would hold true, but as we all know too well, the vast majority of the time money is the true dictator of decisions.

        • MaxM1908

          True, I’m saying with money being equal, the relationship may trump the novelty of playing of the Yankees.

      • Mrp

        There is always the other spin to this though. You could say to him that you could be a part of history by coming to the Cubs and helping to win a World Series for this first time in over a century. You would become forever immortalized in baseball lore. Sounds better to me than being just another player in the long Yankee history.

  • MaxM1908

    What are people’s estimate of total value of deal? I’m going to guess $34 million.

    • Rylee

      I am guessing at least $40 million

      • North Side Irish

        I’ll take the over…the delay in his citizenship really hurt the Cubs. Dodgers got new owners and Yankees have seen how old their roster looks. I think both teams are in this more than they were two months ago.

        • GeorgeHermanLaHair

          Over $40 Mil. I tend to think that wont happen, but I guess we will see soon enough. If that’s the price I hope the Cubs say thanks but no thanks.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    If the Cubs lose out on a Top 50 prospect that might cost upwards of $25 million, I will…..probably nothing, cuz it’s not as big a deal as people are making it. This guy isn’t the next Bryce Harper.

    • GeorgeHermanLaHair

      How do you know? I mean, he could come and be terrible, amazing, or anywhere in between. None of us have really seen him play, so how do we know? Only time will tell.

      • Noah

        None of us saw Bryce Harper before he was drafted either. The people in the scouting industry had, and they told us that he was a once in a generation type of talent. The same people are seeing Soler, and don’t see the same level of talent. Soler is a Top 50 in baseball type of prospect, but he’s not the difference between Theo/Jed/McLeod creating a team that makes the playoffs 3 or 4 times in the last half of the decade or being terrible the whole time.

        • BD

          A top 50 prospect is a top 10 or so draft pick. With the new CBA rules in place with the draft, we can get an additional top 10 pick for nothing but money. No trading other prospects to get this prospect. Just some signing bonus money. His salary will still be like a regular minor leaguer, so it’s not adding an albatross to the cap. Just some money to convince him to sign. If they want to build throught the farm system you do whatever you can to build up that farm system (including buying the last international FA that can be had for just money).

        • Jack Weiland

          If you don’t think “Top 50″ prospects are really valuable, especially when you have to give up nothing more than cash to acquire them … I mean, I don’t know what to tell you. They don’t all pan out, and in reality not many of them pan out, but they’re INSANELY valuable lottery tickets when they do.

          Also, it’s just money. If the Cubs don’t sign him, do you think you’ll see a tangible difference? Lower ticket prices? Checks cut to Cub fans everywhere? No. We’ll never know the difference. Sign the guy.

          This is also a once-in-a-lifetime situation with the new IFA rules going in place next month. His contract will be inflated more than he’s worth, and I’m totally fine with that.

          • Noah

            I didn’t say he wasn’t valuable. I’ll be very happy if the Cubs get him. I was merely responding in a chain referring to the fact that it’s not a disaster if the Cubs don’t get Soler. I am quite confident that Theo and co. are making a good faith offer for Soler. If the Cubs get him, great, he could be a very valuable piece. If they don’t get him, I’ll be mildly annoyed for somewhere in the vicinity of 2.5 minutes.

            And I perfectly well see the logic in throwing a lot of money at Soler in the form of a signing bonus. The Cubs came into this year with a team salary significantly below their recent budgets, and had a draft budget that was less than they probably intended to spend when they hired Theo due to the new CBA. They can put that money towards Soler without having any impact on future budgets.

            I have no problems with anyone viewing Soler as a valuable piece. He is. But whenever people view any player as THE solution (not saying you are, but some of the discussion here is getting close to that), I pretty much always disagree with that.

          • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

            It’s definitely valuable and it would be a bummer if the Cubs didn’t get him. But people here are saying they’ll start to question the direction of the team and Theo/Jed because of it? That’s a bit much…

        • GeorgeHermanLaHair

          He may not be the difference but he is def a step in the right direction. With the rule change from the CBA this is the last chance to throw money at these guys, he may not be Bryce Harper but he does seem to have a high ceiling, and could become a big piece for the future of this franchise.

  • Deer

    How much money have they wasted on dinner and perks for Cespedes and Soler? I’d like to see an audit.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      When you add it to the $X million that Soler will be getting, it will come to about $XM.

    • rocky8263

      The reason the Scouts were sharing rooms earlier this year was to pay for the Soler dinners. No $2.00 tacos and a side of beans for this kid!

  • Cedlandrum

    I know they are not the same, but I am certainly surprised with Cespedes ability so far. I thought he might have to play in the minors a touch. So maybe Solar will be a bit more advanced as well. Hoping AA. Maybe a bit of a pipe dream.

    • Jack Weiland

      I personally don’t care how advanced he is. I’m more concerned about what he’s like when he becomes a Major League player. This signing is all about ceiling; it’s not at all about how much he can help the team soon. They don’t need help soon, really. They’re a bad team that’s going to take many pieces to turn around. Soler is about having an impact player WHEN they’ve improved the rest of the team as well to the point they can contend.

      • Cedlandrum

        I can’t disagree any more. I will be seriously disappointed if he is as raw as a Low A player. I want him at least Daytona ready if not Tenn. I understand it is about ceiling, but the thing you hope with any Cuban player is that there is some polish as well because of all of the international competition.

  • Tim

    none of us have seen him play. Theo and co obviously have more insight and a better idea of how he might pan out. If he is as good as everybody believes him to be, i dont think theo would let him slip away. if they werent as impressed with him in person as the media makes him out to be, theyre not going to drop 40 million dollars

    • GeorgeHermanLaHair

      Exactly, none of us really know. For the first time in my life I feel like I can trust the Cubs to make the right decisons.

  • @cubsfantroy

    I just want it all to be over. Whether he signs with the Cubs or someone else, I just want it to be over with so I don’t have to hear about it anymore.

    • Jack Weiland

      Not for nothing, but … who is making you follow it? Is someone coming to your house, holding you down, and shouting Jorge Soler rumors at you until you pass out??

  • Cub Gone Wild

    If he can play at AA then bring him on up. He will be better than anwe anything else we currently have

    • GeorgeHermanLaHair

      Most I have heard said he will start at Low-A

  • http://www.obstructedview.net berselius

    I hope he doesn’t sign with the Cubs, at the prices that have been flying around. The Cubs need young talent, but half the reason teams want young talent is because of cost-control. At these prices, I’d rather the Cubs just invest the money into a FA with more certainty, or improving development/minor league facilities, or signing more cheaper players, or paying off debt, or rolling it in to improving Wrigley.

    • Jack Weiland

      These are two different things. The money he gets is a signing bonus, not his salary. He would still be cost controlled for the normal amount of time, as any prospect would be.

      If the Cubs don’t use this money on Soler, there’s really no where else it’s going to go. They have the money, this is a once in a lifetime type of situation (with the new IFA rules going into effect next month) and they should use it. Period. The farm system needs players with high impact potential, and all it costs them is money. Not throwing a boat load of cash at him would be a mistake in my mind, unless they saw something they didn’t like when they scouted him, but there’s virtually no indication that’s the case. All signs point to Theo and Jed being VERY hot after him.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Certainly a worthwhile point.

  • Eric S

    Can we start a #Solersignvalue trend on Twitter?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha.

  • Webb

    Here’s the thing: the Jays, Yankees, and Dodgers all have a major league team worth rooting for this year. That is what makes the Cubs different. Nobody NEEDS this guys like the Cubs need him. If none of those three win the bidding they’re at least winning now and have less to worry about in the public’s eye. If the Cubs don’t win here then this season becomes even more of a waste than it already has been to this point. This is the reason I believe the Cubs won’t let anybody else get this guy.

  • ClydeR

    If the Cubs don’t sign Solar the season will be a complete failure. Need to rebuild and Solar takes money and no players. Tom Ricketts are you really going to go the distance or not?

    • TWC

      Yeah!  Forget the draft, man!  Forget the development of those in the farm system!  Forget what deals we may or may not make before the trade deadline!  This season is ALL ABOUT SOLER!

      • Jack Weiland

        Why would Soler and the draft be mutually exclusive? They’re not. They have money for both. They ought to use it to enrich the system as much as they possibly can.

        *EDIT* Nevermind I see what you’re responding to now.

      • hansman1982

        Exactly, Ricketts is just returning to his cheap-ass roots. The new CBA is all his fault too.

    • crazyhorse admire

      One of things I admire about Tom Ricketts is his dedication to establishing a program to sign and develop international baseball talent . The Cubs are investing a boatload of money in the Dominican Republic by building a Baseball Academy to help bring talent to its major league team. Now with Soler – If the Cubs don’t sign him, its okay. Signing Soler is a gamble . He will be overpaid for a rookie . A ballplayer with great potential but potential nonetheless.

  • EQ76

    Well since the Dodgers have all this money they’re gonna spend with new ownership, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they win the bid. They seem like they want to make a splash and overspend over the next couple of years.

  • rbreeze

    It would be nice if the Cubs got Soler for lot of obvious reasons but if they don’t, I hope its painful price that the Yankees pay out.  I think its between the Yanks and the Cubs.  Just a hunch.  Come on Theo don’t let Cashman get the best of you!!!!!!!!!

  • hansman1982

    Honestly, I DO NOT expect Soler to sign any day besides May 29 or 30 (added the 29th to it since it is the Friday before the deadline and I doubt they will want to chance the paperwork being goofed up with no time to fix)

    • Tim

      june*

      • hansman1982

        ya, I just caught that…June 29 or 30…

  • MaxM1908

    If anyone needs a distraction from the Soler insanity, France-England just started. If you have access to http://www.watchespn.com, you can even watch it at work.

  • http://twitter.com/SouvenirCity Engine 78
    • Jack Weiland

      Nice.

  • GeorgeHermanLaHair

    @TBrownYahoo Jorge Soler is going somewhere, but not to L.A. Dodgers are no longer engaged. Cubs, Yanks, Jays, mystery team?

    • Jack Weiland

      I hate the mystery team.

      • GeorgeHermanLaHair

        It makes me a little nervous. But it seems to be Cubs or Yankees to me.

    • rocky8263

      It’s gonna be Kenny Williams as the mystery team. Old man Reinsdorf had a dream, called Kenny and opened the checkbook.

  • Ivy Walls

    This is like waiting the the 3rd out in yesterday’s bottom of the 9th….come on already

  • Patrick G

    I’m legit obsessed with this waiting for a decision checking my phone every 2 mins. On another note, is Jorge Soler really a Left handed batter? I read an article saying he’s lefty and I been following this since he became big news and always believed he was a righty. Maybe I’m just out of the loop…

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