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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.

  • @cubsfantroy

    Soler will be a bigger bust than Fukudome.

    • ETS

      The difference here is Soler is the last IFA signing ever.

    • MikeL

      Very positive…..

    • TC

      Good to hear from such a well respected scout who has seen Soler play as much as you have, @cubsfantroy

      • @cubsfantroy

        And you have seen him play? Can you be sure he is the next big thing? Because my opinion on him differs from yours, it must be wrong? Everybody thinks he is going to be the next big thing, I don’t think he will be. If that is negative, so be it.

        • TC

          no, I don’t know a thing about him, and that’s the point. You haven’t seen him play either, and you’ve made a definitive statement about the player. I don’t disagree with your opinion because it is wrong; I disagree with it because it mostly uninformed.

          • @cubsfantroy

            As yours is also uninformed. How many players have been “can’t miss” that are big busts? Scouts/GM’s/managers etc… have been all over can’t miss players that bust. Just because Theo and Jed think he is the greatest thing since the invention of fire; that doesn’t make it so. So I guess we are at a stalemate.

            • TC

              Hey, man, I haven’t made one statement about the kid in this conversation. Yes, guys bust all the time. Top 50 overall type prospects tend to bust a little less, but its still prevalent. But to definitevely say one way or another is kind of ridiculous unless you’ve seen him firsthand.

  • MightyBear

    While I usually agree and respect Brett’s analysis, this is not fun.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Haha. I can certainly understand.

  • http://www.obstructedview.net berselius

    Whether it’s a bonus or salary, it’s still money. I also think that with this amount of interest it’s going to take a mlb deal like with Concepcion or Samardzija to get it done, and that isn’t clamped down by the new CBA until July either.

    I agree that all it costs them is money and the Cubs are a team that can afford it, but there’s always a point where that money can be better spent somewhere else.

    • http://www.obstructedview.net berselius

      (sorry, reply fail due to tab-enter. Should have been in the earlier thread I started :P)

      • Jack Weiland

        I mean, say it’s 40MM (not seeing that anywhere, just throwing out a crazy high number) … and they have him under control for 10 years. He’s making less than 10MM a year over the course of that deal. It’s not THAT much money, considering how much crappy bullpen arms get paid.

        Is it a ton for a prospect? Hell yeah. Will he be worth it? Maybe. Is this exactly the kind of thing the big market Cubs should have been doing all along? Definitely. Do I love asking and then answering my own questions? OH GOD YES.

        • Edwin

          Jack,

          Those crappy relief pitchers are still playing at an MLB level. They’ve already shown enough talent that a team can be reasonably sure that they can stick around. With a prospect like Soler it’s not even a gaurantee that he’d even reach MLB.

          I’m fine with the Cubs going aggressive after Soler, but they need stick to how much they think he’s worth, and not just enter into a win-at-all-costs bidding war. I’m sure there is plenty of data out there to figure out approxamitely how much Soler is worth. I think the Cubs would be wise to avoid the winner’s curse on this one.

          • TC

            If the circumstances were the same as they used to be, I would agree. But this is an entirely different market, and easily the last chance the Cubs will have to spend a ton of money on a non-Japanese international free agent. Even if they spend a shitload of money and Soler busts, its not going to be too painful since the CBA is saving the Cubs’ IFA budget well over that 40mil over the next 10 years

            • Jack Weiland

              One small point: the CBA runs for five years. There very well could be a change in this process at that point. So we’re looking at a five year window where the IFA market is severely depressed, cash-wise.

              • hansman1982

                I think the best you can hope for going forward is a trade between the NL getting the DH (appease the MLBPA) and teams getting 1-2 non-cap signings in the draft and IFA each year (appeasing owners)

                We will never return to un-restricted amatuer spending.

          • Drew7

            I’m the first to admit that knowledge of the new CBA is not a strong suit of mine, so answer me this:

            If this were the 2011 MLB Draft, and the Cubs had Soler fall to them with say, the #3 pick, how much would you spend to get him signed?

            I realize this isnt a true apples-to-apples comparison, but if you failed to sign him and DIDNT get a compensatory pick the next year, I think it would be a disapointment. My limited knowledge on this part of the game says go for it.

            • TC

              Well, that’s different, since the draft is designed to cut down on costs for teams. Because of that, the amount that Soler would sign for out of the draft is not indicative of his true value

              • Drew7

                Thats why I said last year’s draft

                • TC

                  in last year’s draft, even without (effectively) hard slotting, he still wouldn’t really be able to command more than, say, $7mil due to all sorts of precedents and the fact that the draft was still, then, designed to save owners’ money.

                  Think, for example, about Stephen Strasburg. He got like $15mil out of college, which was far and away the largest bonus ever for a draftee. But if he’d been a FA at that age with his stuff, how much do you think he would’ve signed for? 50, 60 million seems likely to me

                  • Drew7

                    Alright, I appreciate the response. I just think the question people have to ask is – at what point does the $ amount get high enough to where it negatively effects/restrains what the Cubs are able to do in other areas?

                    I think the answer is – Much higher than the kid is going to get. I just want someone to tell me how going up to even $45-50mil is going to hurt the club.

                    • TC

                      1) If he busts, thats a ton of cash lost on a guy
                      2) Could theoretically impact the Cubs’ ability to sign some FA this offseason

                      But frankly, I completely agree with you. Even at 50mil (which is sure as shit not happening), all it amounts to is lost money, especially since I don’t think the payroll concerns of problem 2 are all that real

              • hardtop

                “Well, that’s different, since the draft is designed to cut down on costs for teams.”

                no, its designed to let cheap greedy bastards like jerry reindsdorf draft competitively

                bud <3 jerry

                (thats a ballbag, not a heart)

          • Jack Weiland

            I agree that being an ML player is a valuable thing. But it’s a hell of a lot easier to acquire a relief pitcher than it is to acquire a star OF. My point was: if people think of the price tag in terms of how many years this player will be controlled by the club, would they be as upset? Probably not.

    • Jack Weiland

      I agree there’s a point where money can be better spent elsewhere, but I just don’t see any signing here (even a crazy high one like 40MM) stopping them from fully funding whatever else they want to do. They’ve got plenty of money, this is where big market teams need to bully the rest to get their way.

  • ETS

    I wonder if the offers are lower than we are all thinking. Just the fact that his agent had to twice ask for more makes me think this is the case.

    • Jack Weiland

      I don’t see it that way. I think more likely they got a ton of killer offers, realize Soler is in a GREAT negotiating position in that he’s going to be the last one of these gigantic IFA signings until they change the rules again, and they’re trying to milk every last penny out of this deal.

  • North Side Irish

    Phil Rogers
    Jorge Soler is getting close to signing, and the Cubs are all over him. A lot of people will say he’s not worth the crazy contract he’s going to get, but as many as 10 teams may have submitted bids for him over the weekend, and the Cubs, Yankees, Braves and Dodgers are quite serious in wanting to add the 20-year-old Cuban center fielder to their inventory. This drama could come to a resolution in the next 48 hours.

    Rogers posted this about 20 minutes after the news about the Dodgers came out. And he’s not a CF, Phil, he’s a classic RF profile. And an announcement is expected today, not in the next 48 hours.

    Kind of sad when people on the message board seem to be more informed than the Cubs beat writer.

    • Jack Weiland

      I wouldn’t assume we know more than Phil Rogers. A few people have said this might be more of a 48-72 hours thing. There’s no rush for them to sign really until the end of the month.

      Agree on the position thing though, he’s clearly either misinformed on that or just had a brain fart.

      • DBT

        I would. Phil Rogers is consistently wrong.

    • MikeL

      North side,

      Actually several baseball insiders have now said that we might not hear anything for a couple of days.

  • ETS

    can someone explain to me the new international free agent rules and how they apply to Japanese players? For example if the Darvish bidding had been post new CBA does the total bid+contract have to be under the new cap or just contract or are Japanese league players exceptions?

    Thanks to any answer. This has been bothering me.

    • BD

      After July 2, 2012 teams will have a capped pool of money (only a few million dollars) to spend on international FAs. (I believe this is any player 23 or younger- but correct me if I’m wrong)

  • Kevin

    These attorney’s are taking the Cubs for a ride…………………

  • Cubs217

    How does Soler compare (prosepct wise) to other Cubs prospects? I saw an article on ESPN that said Almora is now the best Cubs prospect, which is crazy since Rizzo is top 25, but IF Soler signs with the Cubs is he top 3,5,10 in the Cubs system? Ahead or behind Almora and/or Jackson?

    • MikeL

      I’ve read soler would be #1……actually, it has been said that he would the clear #1 prospect in the Cubs farm system.

      • Jack Weiland

        Certainly could make that case. It really comes down to personal preference I think. Rizzo, Baez and Jackson are all in very different situations, and they’re all very good prospects. Soler is clearly in that top 4 though, however you slice it.

    • Jack Weiland

      Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus said he would have been 39 on his Top 101 before the year, which was higher than anyone else in the Cubs system.

      Given how disgusting Rizzo has been, you could make a case that he’d be #1 now, but Soler is definitely top 3 with Rizzo and Baez in my view, ahead of Brett Jackson.

    • BD

      I thought one of the analysts said that Soler was a better prospect than Almora “by a nose”. If that’s the case, we could add our top 2 prospects if we are able to sign both Soler and Almora.

      • Jack Weiland

        Forgot about Almora. Soler would definitely be in that Top 5, and it really comes down to little things to separate any of them out. Depends what you like/value, but they’re all good prospects in their own right.

        I’m an upside guy, so I’d probably go Soler, Baez, Rizzo, Almora and Jackson in that order.

        • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

          I’d go Rizzo, Almora, Baez, Soler, Jackson

          • Spriggs

            Mine would be Rizzo, Baez, Soler, Almora, Jackson.

          • Richard Nose

            I like Norm’s. Might flip Baez and Almora. I don’t even want to speculate on that 5 letter name that starts with ‘S’ though. Just don’t want to set anything up.

          • Jeremy

            Rizzo, Baez, Soler, Almora, Jackson

            I put Baez ahead of Soler due to potential 70 hit tool and 70 power according to Goldstein and several others. Soler ahead of Almora due to higher ceiling and better power. I think Almora is ahead of Jackson because he is just a plain better prospect then Jackson IMO.

            • Jack Weiland

              Interesting that Jackson is last on all of ours. Not having a great season, but BA had him #1 heading into the season. Just a snapshot of how much better this system is than when last season ended.

            • JB88

              I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone rate Baez as having a 70 hit tool. That would be pretty spectacular. Given his early production at Peoria, I’d think his hit tool might be max 60, though possibly lower than that.

      • JB88

        Other way around. And it was Kevin Goldstein that said it. That said, Keith Law is the only one I’ve seen who has said Almora would be the Cubs’ best prospect (which, candidly, I think is bonkers considering Rizzo is on the cusp of the Majors, while Almora MIGHT play at Boise this year, if he signs quickly).

        • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

          League level is irrelevant. It’s all about ranking who will be the more valuable big leaguer. And it’s just VERY difficult for a 1B to provide more value than a CF

          • JB88

            I won’t go so far as to say league level is irrelevant, but I do believe that a prospect needs to demonstrate some modicum of success to show that he is more likely than not of meeting his potential before he is suddenly elevated to top prospect status.

            Maybe I’m just conservative in that way, but I probably would slot Almora top 5, but I wouldn’t put him at No. 1, not over a guy who has raked AAA pitching for a full season now and looks, for all intents and purposes, as a pretty sure fire big league player. Almora hasn’t played a second of professional ball yet, so I just can’t see the justification for putting him above someone who has shown some higher probability of meeting his potential.

            • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

              Why Top 5? Why would you have Almora ahead of say, Welington Castillo, who has raked in AAA while Almora hasn’t demonstrated any modicum of success yet?

              • JB88

                Given the fact that scouts have said Almora could play a good defensive CF right now and given his likely 5-tool status, I think he’d be top 5 right now. Since his ceiling is higher than Castillo’s he does go higher, but he really hasn’t started to climb the ladder to show that he is capable of reaching his ceiling, but given Almora’s make-up, he seems more likely to reach his ceiling than a guy like Castillo is.

                As for ranking Castillo, he is a tough call for me given his MiLB production and position, but he would probably fall just outside the top 5.

              • Kyle

                Because Castillo might be an average catcher. That’s pretty much his upside. Average players are not worthless, but they also aren’t rare. The scarcity of impact players means that the prospects who have even a slim chance of becoming one will have much more value.

            • Kyle

              If all of the Cubs top prospects had been in the draft this year, along with Almora, in what order do you think they’d been picked?

              • JB88

                Assuming that is for me, but it just seems like an impossible question to answer. The best I could possibly do is to look at it from a Ceiling-Floor approach. If we take Soler into consideration, I’d probably rank it something like this (taking into consideration position and league averages from those positions):

                HIGHEST CEILING:
                Soler
                Baez
                Almora
                Rizzo
                Jackson

                HIGHEST FLOOR
                Rizzo
                Almora
                Jackson
                Baez
                Soler

                The problem with that approach, however, is that you don’t have the benefit of the following years in which you discovered that a kid like Rizzo would come as far as he has, showing the ability to get closest to reaching his ceiling. At this point, we don’t know if Almora is capable of reaching his ceiling or even getting off the floor. And while Almora’s floor might be a story higher than Jackson’s floor, Jackson’s ceiling is still probably higher than Almora’s floor. To me, you have to really take into consideration the fact that these kids are climbing a ladder, so to speak. And, so, while their floors and ceilings might be at different heights—depending on their likelihood of production at the ML level—where they are at a given time might be higher than a potentially great player, simply because of their development.

              • djriz

                Top 10?

                Rizzo
                ??Soler??
                Almora
                Baez
                Jackson
                Vitters
                Castillo
                Lake
                Sczcur
                McNutt

                oh oh..

          • djriz

            Albert Pujols….Joey Votto?

            Pretty good value there. Probably better than most CF’s.

          • Jack Weiland

            League and level might be irrelevant to you, but not others. Some people value strictly upside. Some people value the most likely contribution. Some people see tons of value in a guy who is a sure fire MLer, even if he’s not at All-Star level player.

            It’s all what you value and prefer. Age and level absolutely do matter to some people.

    • Kyle

      There’s a few people who really love Almora, but I don’t think the consensus has him that high.

      I really don’t see how anyone can make a case for anyone but Rizzo at No. 1. The knock on him before the season was that he didn’t have an elite ceiling. Maybe I’m being a homer, but a 22-year-old who can put up a 1.143 OPS in AAA has an elite ceiling. The Cubs’ tinkering with his swing seems to have alleviated a lot of the problems he was having against left-handers. I don’t see a single reason why his upside can’t be the next Joey Votto.

      As for the remaining three: Almora, Soler, and Baez, it’s close enough that just about any order is justifiable.

      • Jack Weiland

        Not putting Rizzo #1 isn’t really a knock on him. It’s more a credit to other guys included in that discussion.

        I like Rizzo a ton, but he’s a 1B prospect who is indeed crushing in AAA but hasn’t done anything in the Majors. He’s close, sure, but his upside TO ME is not as high as Soler or Baez. Not that it isn’t totally, completely fair to put Rizzo #1 … it is. He’s just not #1 for me. Splitting hairs there, really, as we should be excited about all of these guys.

        • JB88

          Part of the consideration for me are the ages. Baez is 19, Soler is 20. If Soler ends up with the Cubs, maybe he starts in Peoria, maybe Daytona. If the Cubs brass believe their “season of AAA” talk, then Baez and Soler both arrive in Chicago as 23-24 year olds, a year to 2 years older than Rizzo was when he made and stayed in the show.

          To me, Rizzo’s age and advanced hitting suggest to me that he is the higher prospect.

        • MikeL

          When looking at Rizzo’s ceiling, I think most people have compared him to Ryan Howard: The potential for a lot of homeruns, strikeouts, and walks. He won’t be a .300 hitter in the major leagues, probably will hover around .250.

          Just remember that would be his absolute ceiling….so there is a chance he probably he won’t reach his maximum power potential and might hit around .240……that is why you have to approach prospects reasonably and keep your farm system well stocked.

          • JB88

            Where have you seen those projections? I’d be very disappointed if Rizzo were only a .250 hitter in the majors.

            • MikeL

              If you look at comps for Rizzo on various scouting reports, Ryan Howard comes up a lot. Howard is not a high average guy, that is what I am basing my response off of. Now with THAT said….most of those scouting reports came from last year, before Rizzo made adjustment this year. But he still won’t be a .300 hitter.

              • JB88

                I appreciate your response. That said, this is strange logic. And I still don’t understand why you are so wed to this notion he won’t be a .300 hitter. If you said Jackson wouldn’t be a .300 hitter, I’d buy what you were selling, but Rizzo pretty much screams .300 hitter in MLB, to me.

                • MikeL

                  Well, the first thing you would want to do is look at his strikeouts. He does not have good pure contact at the mlb level. Now, he might have it with AAA pitchers, but MLB pitchers are-of course-a few steps above that. He is also a slugger, and sluggers generally don’t hit for high average. Look, if Rizzo becomes the Ryan Howard when Ryan Howard was in his prime….I would be VERY happy with that. I don’t pretend to be a scout and my analysis is not mine alone, it is just research I have done on Rizzo. But don’t get too caught on batting average, even if he only hits .260, he can still consistently put up an OPS of .850-.900 because of his power and walks.

                  • Kyle

                    I’m pretty sure I’ve read everything the internet has had to say about Anthony Rizzo. I’ve seen the Ryan Howard comp once out of dozens of scouting reports, and it wasn’t a particularly reputable one.

                    If you have other sources, I’d love to see them. I’m pretty sure it’s just a bad comp.

                    Rizzo’s 19.5% AAA K rate can certainly sustain a .280+ average projection in the majors.

                    Let’s say that in a 600-PA season, he strikes out in 23% of his plate appearances, walks in 8% and hits 30 home runs. That leaves 384 BIP. He’d need 122 hits in those 384 BIP in order to hit .280 for the season, or a .317 BABIP. That’s very reasonable for a line-drive hitter such as Rizzo.

                  • Drew7

                    “He does not have good pure contact at the mlb level.”

                    -Mike, you seem like a smart enough guy, so I’m confident you understand we have no way of knowing if that statement is true or not; his PA in the Bigs last year do not come close to outweighing 1800+ MiLB PA’s of showing an above average hit tool.

                    • MikeL

                      Knock it off with the smart ass comment/attitude. I am not arguing or discrediting anyone else’s projection of Rizzo, I was just reporting what I have read. You are right, I have no idea whether or not this is true and how well is contact will ability will play at the major league level….and neither do you.

                    • Drew7

                      Sorry- Really wasnt intended to be smart-ass, which is why I started it off the way I did. I wasnt a guy that said your comment sucked, or even that it was wrong, all I did was give facts.

                      Of course nobody knows how his hit tool will translate. What I was doing was trying to prove my side of what I thought was a civilized debate.

                    • MikeL

                      Drew–

                      I misread your comment, didn’t mean to strike back in such a harsh manner just then.

                • Jeremy

                  I really think a Ryan Howard comp is a decent one but I think Rizzo will end up hitting for a higher average then Howard. JB88, Could he hit .300 in the pros, maybe, like you said we don’t know yet. Were all just going on projections and scouting reports. It seems like he fixed the holes in his swing, so it is entirely possible that he could hover around .300 in the future, who knows.

                  I see Rizzo having a slash of .280/.360/.530. He seems to be showing plenty of patience at the plate and is just crushing the ball right now, hitting plenty or HR’s and 2B’s.

          • Kyle

            That’s a terrible comp. Rizzo has a much better hit tool than Ryan Howard, and less power.

            • Jack Weiland

              Yeah, agreed. Can you link to these scouting reports? I haven’t seen that, and it doesn’t seem very fitting. This is part of the reason comps are misguided.

              • North Side Irish

                Here’s what BA wrote about Rizzo’s future coming into this season: “he could develop into a .270 hitter capable of producing 30 homers and a healthy amount of walks on an annual basis.”

                Howard is a terrible comp for Rizzo. He’s more DLee than Howard or A. Gonzales. I doubt he ever hits .300 or 40 HRs in a season. I think his ceiling is an above average 1B for a long time and there’s nothing wrong with that.

                • North Side Irish

                  And here’s what Goldstein wrote about him:

                  “Rizzo has some of the best numbers in the minors, and while they make him look like Albert Pujols, he’s more like a good first baseman who can hit .280-.300 with 25-plus home runs in his prime. That’s not Pujols-like, but it makes him plenty valuable.”

                  Rizzo will be a big piece of the future, but this likely isn’t a perennial All-Star/MVP type player. Though I would love to be wrong about that.

                  • Kyle

                    That was the consensus about Rizzo coming into this season. But the Cubs found a way to shorten his swing (longish swing was the one big knock on his bat) and the results have been startling. Not just numbers, but reports that scouts have begun to turn around on him.

                    I think his upside is bigger than anyone thought going into the year.

                    • Jack Weiland

                      I think his stock has improved, for sure, but I don’t think drastically. He’s going to be an above average ML 1B, and that’s great. He’s probably not going to be an MVP type.

                    • Puma0821

                      I am no expert hitting coach but I have seen Rizzo play about 10 games this year and I can see that he definitely does not have a long swing. compared to last year ( by all accounts) it is more compact and quicker through the zone. He still starts his hands a little low for my liking but thats more of a personal preference. I believe with the changes he’s made, he’s now closer to a .280-.300 hitter in the majors as long as he doesn’t revert back to his old swing.

                  • Noah

                    Here’s the only thing I’d say about Rizzo, and really any first baseman: it is so difficult to project anyone to be a 40 HR guy, that it is essentially worthless to try, with the exception of, say, someone of Bryce Harper’s caliber. You just have to be such a good power hitter to do that. I can think of maybe two first baseman who came up in the past decade who had that sort of hype in the scouting community (not just the fan community) when they came up from the minors: Prince Fielder and Eric Hosmer. You just have to hit SO well to be an elite offensive first baseman, predicting it is near impossible until you actually see them at the major league level, and it often takes them a few years to get there. No one thought Joey Votto was going to be the sort of hitter he is. Now, it looks like he’ll end up being worth 30 WAR in just the first five years of his career.

            • MikeL

              Calm down guys, as I said in my response they were scouting reports from last year……not mine.

          • Drew7

            Rizzo’s K-Rate is actually very good for as much power as he brings to the table, and has improved a good deal this year (20.3% career, 17.7% this year). Howard on the other hand, has always struck out a great deal, both in the Majors and Minors (27.2% and 27.4%, respectively).

            Even though making projections using BA is silly, I dont think expecting him to hover around .250 is fair. With his rates, I’d be happy to see .270.

        • Cedlandrum

          ” but hasn’t done anything in the Majors.”

          I could agree with your statement if this was taken out of your post. His short stint in the majors has nothing to do with his upside either.

          • Jack Weiland

            I’ll agree that what he HAS done in the Majors is irrelevant. But I will stick to my point that he hasn’t had success at the Major League level, and that matters. Rizzo is no sure thing, despite how close he is.

  • Philmynuts

    Phil Rogers is such a moron. He has never been right about anything.

  • cubsnivy56

    With the season we are having we deserve to get Soler!  I am praying to the baseball gods to bless us with this gift!  I am also rubbing my favorite pair of “cats pajamas” for luck!

    • Ogyu

      I hope you’re not wearing them… ;-P

  • czechxican

    I’ll be anxious to read everyone’s thoughts (as we get closer of course) to what happens with Cubdom if Rizzo struggles his first few months up. With reporters like Rosenbloom and even Sveum himself knee-jerking now, what patience will the rest of our fans have?

    • Matty

      I’m curious about that as well. It is certainly possible, if not probable, that he will have a hard time for the first weeks, maybe even months. This FO is very tied to his results, fair or not. The other prospects in the pipeline, Soler included if he signs, are years away. If Rizzo has a similar flameout to his Padre experience, I have a feeling this and every Cub site will not be a pleasant place to be.

      • Spriggs

        On the positive side, if Rizzo flames out again, that should pretty much lock down the worst record/first pick thing.

        • JB88

          Well, given that LaHair’s other realistic position is LF and Soriano hasn’t been the problem during the 5-20 streak, I don’t know that Rizzo playing or not playing, flaming out or not flaming out would make any true difference in that race …

          • Spriggs

            Maybe not, but think the opposite… if Rizzo continues crushing the ball after he comes up – he will help them win some games they might have otherwise lost. We already know how bad they blow without him. Subtract Dempster or Garza from that.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              One player rarely makes that much of a difference.  The Cubs have been getting above average OPS from SS & 1B, average OPS from LF, and below average OPS from every other position.  Now, you could move LaHair to RF (making that above average OPS ) and DeJesus into CF; in that case, you replace the Johnson/Campana ZeroPS nightmare into Rizzo. However, you still have below-average OPS from C, 2nd, 3rd and CF to go with average at LF and (probably) 1B and above-average at SS & RF.  That’s an improvement, no doubt: but you are still looking at a below-average offense; combine that with the Cubs pitching, you are still looking at a (very) sub-0.500 team.

              (In terms of off-season moves, had the Cubs kept ARam, then the Cubs would be average at 3rd as well.)

              • Spriggs

                What I’m saying is that when the Cubs bring up Rizzo, he is going to play. That means Soriano (who might even be gone) and/or LaHair (who could also be gone) will get less at bats. Those 2 guys have been pretty good. So if Rizzo plays horrible, their offense will be even worse than it is now. Combine that with the likely departures of Garza and/or Dempster and you become much worse than you are now. As I said – with a wink, trying to be optimistic – a lock for the worst record.

  • supergeek24

    What will happen is he will sign for a crazy amount to the yankees we will that’s stupid for that amount then he turns in to a allstar in the next two three years. That always happens to us we always just miss out

  • Chris

    Putting Soler aside for a moment… Has anyone heard the Cubs being interested in any of the other top international players that are trying to sign before the CBA deadline? I saw they signed a Haitian kid a week or so ago, but he wasn’t on any published prospect list I’ve had the chance to look at. I’m just wondering if they have any other irons in the fire. If this is the last chance to sign guys before the money gets capped, I’m sure they have to be pursuing all avenues, right?

    • Kyle

      There aren’t really any other top international prospects left to be signed. The IFA rules are such that there’s a feeding frenzy once a year. Last year’s top prospects are already gone. Next year’s won’t be eligible until July 2 and will be under the restrictions of the new CBA. Soler, being a Cuban defector, is a special circumstance.

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    I am wondering outloud. But, what does everyone think of the possibility of the Yankees going all out to get him to in turn flip him to us as part of a package for Garza? They are limited on their pieces, and that would definitely help them. I doubt this, but the conspiracy theorist in me is wondering.

    • Jack Weiland

      haha WOW that is some tin foil hat stuff right there.

      But, yeah, this seems really unlikely to me.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Not only is it not remotely likely for a variety of practical reasons, players cannot be traded, generally speaking, in the first year after they’ve signed.

      • Cyranojoe

        Aww. If it weren’t for that, this sounds like a nifty strategy for the Yanks. Stupid facts I didn’t know about getting in the way.

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        That makes me feel better. As a Cubs fan, I live with the glass half empty, and I didn’t know the rules on international signings. Didn’t know it was the same as a drafted player. Thanks for that.

    • Andy

      If they abide by the same set of rules, recently signed (and drafted) players cant be traded until mid season the following year.

  • Steve

    All things being equal, if we do get solar, I say we put him, Almora and Baez together and let them grow with each other.
    But what do I know?

    • JoeyCollins

      That would be cool if they could all get to Peoria for second half baseball but I’m sure their promotions might vary due to all sorts of factors so it might not be worth trying.

  • gocatsgo2003

    Frigging mystery team…

  • Andy

    I listened to the Olney interview, he sounded like he had no clue on the Soler situation so i would take his 2 to 3 days comment with a grain of salt.

  • Jack Weiland

    Can the Cubs just sign Jorge Soler already?!??!?!? ugh.

  • Ogyu

    @Vansantc
    BREAKING: Phillies sign Jorge Soler and have traded him to the Padres along with Jesse Biddle for Chase Headly

    LOL

  • Drew7

    posted twice…sorry

  • Drew7

    I’m wondering how many more months its going to take before people start spelling the damn kid’s name right! Soler, not Solar! I mean, its in size 72 font on the front of every G.D. article!

    Sorry…whew!

    • ProfessorCub

      THANK YOU

  • Mike S

    Not sure if this has been said already, but Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reports that the Dodgers are no longer in on Soler. Good news for the Cubs…

  • Leo

    Dodgers out on Soler bid they feel the risk does not outweigh the price.

  • Patrick G
  • Patrick G
    • Tim

      lol look at the picture at the top of this page. hes batting righty

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Maybe he switches or he changed his approach, but the videos we’ve seen on him, he looks like a righty to me. Then again, his name (on his jersey) and him at the plate were different shots.

  • calicubsfan007

    I think (knock on wood) that with the Dodgers supposedly out, I think (knock on wood again…) we can really win this now. The Dodgers were the ones I was worried the most about. Just something about the Yankees FO this year doesn’t make me worried, if George Steinbrener was still in charge, then I would be worried.

  • Leo

    Anon sports is reporting the winner is either the Cubs or Yanks in a 40 million deal. Don’t know how much truth there is to it?

    • Jack Weiland

      Link?

      • JB88

        http://bornonthird.mlblogs.com/tag/your-anon-sports/

        Note, the report doesn’t exactly match what Leo proclaims.

        • http://bornonthird.mlblogs.com/ George Cotugno

          Yeah, that Anon Sports tweet did not have a dollar amount, I’m just speculating on dollar amount, who knows really.

          - George

  • North Side Irish

    Jon Heyman ‏@JonHeymanCBS
    fwiw (and theres no guarantee it’s a lot), some competing execs still see #cubs as favorite for Soler. many interested

    • Jack Weiland

      #everytweetsinceNovember

      This is killing me.

  • Ron

    Good thing the comments are closed on the BOOM win money thing….I almost wet myself then read the headline. Not nice, not nice at all!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Soler won’t be a “boom,” it’ll be a squeal…

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    admit it brett… you know we’re all biting at the bit… the “BOOM” was your way of having fun with us.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I wish I were that clever – I’ve just used “BOOM” for all the fantasy contests…

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