Now that it’s been confirmed by Ken Rosenthal after being first reported by Joel Sherman (and subsequently confirmed by Jon Heyman and Bruce Miles), we can get excited about the Cubs signing the top available international prospect in quite some time.

While we await the contract terms, I suggest you allow yourself a good old fashioned SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(And if you need more info on Soler, here’s a good place to start.)

UPDATE: Jon Heyman reports that the signing amount is around $30 million, which, depending on the rest of the terms (you can assume it’s a big league deal – i.e., he goes on the 40-man), is just fine with me. It’s a ridiculous amount for a prospect, and will create unreasonable expectations, but them’s the breaks this year. It’s a fine deal, and the money was there to be spent. Ok, you can resume squealing.

UPDATE II: Well, this could get a little interesting. Heyman says it’s a nine-year deal for Soler, which suggests it will be of the kind where he’s guaranteed free agency at the end (like Cespedes). So the Cubs will have a few years of minor league time before they’re “losing” any control (normally, you get six years of big league control). Then again, if it’s for nine years and $30-something million with no arbitration years in there? That could be a freaking steal. I suspect there will be some escalators built in, based on what he “would get” in arbitration, if he gets that far in the bigs. Or, he might be able to opt out of his deal and opt into arbitration.

UPDATE III: It’s going to take some time for the final contract details to filter out, and our thoughts on how “good” the deal is for the Cubs could swing wildly. What won’t change, though, is the overall happiness about the signing. Soler will need time to adjust to the States, so I wouldn’t expect to see him with a team for a little while. When he does, he’ll probably spend most of his season at A-ball Peoria. As for when (if) we see him with the big team, don’t start dreaming of next year – 2014 should be your most optimistic thought.

UPDATE IV: Heyman says, definitively, that it’s nine years and $30 million. I refuse to believe it’s quite that simple. Either there are escalators or opt-outs built in, or that $30 million doesn’t quite cover all of the nine years of control Soler is giving the Cubs. The only other explanation for a contract like this? There was way too much hype, and Soler – while a great prospect – isn’t as great as we’ve been led to believe, even in light of the CBA changes. I tend to doubt that last one, since impartial scouting types have said he’s the real deal, but it’s possible.

UPDATE V: Keith Law has written that the deal indeed includes opt outs that would allow Soler, if he’s blown up after his first few years in the bigs, to opt out of whatever payments he’s due, and instead go through the normal arbitration process with the Cubs. If it plays out that way, he’ll make a whole lot more money – but, then again, the Cubs won’t be complaining, because they’ll have landed a star.

  • cjdubbya

    So what are the specifics on the Columbus-area Soler signing party? When/where?

    • Matty V

      If this happens, I’m in.

      • cjdubbya

        Kicking around Sunday night. I know it’s Father’s Day, but w/an 8pm ET start for Sunday Night Baseball (Theo’s past vs Theo’s present), would that interfere too much?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          The Wife and I are going to Chicago Thurs through Saturday, but if there isn’t too much craziness upon our return, I’d be in for it.

          • TC

            Speaking of which, are you going to the game on saturday?

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Sadly, no. Just Friday.

              • MaxM1908

                Brett, I’m going to be at a rooftop for the game with the firm. If you’re out beforehand, I’ll try to join you. I might take the whole day off as I have to fly out to London late Friday evening for my wedding. I can make sure I’m packed in the morning, come join you for a pre-game drink, and meet up with the firm at game time.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  We will definitely be in Wrigleyville pre-game, and post-game somewhere. I’ll make sure to give head’s ups.

                  • hansman1982

                    you should start an impromptu BN sponsored kickball game in the waveland/sheffield intersection pre-game.

                    • Mrp

                      That sounds pretty amazing. Make it happen!

              • hardtop

                damn.  my trip to this series has just been cancelled.  unfortunately the hook up for the tickets is making a rehab stint in triple a rather than traveling or playing with the the team.  no tickets!  bummer!


                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett


  • Michael V

    Yes!! Been waiting for this to happen for a loooong time. Soler Power, baby. Jonah Hill’s squeal’s is the best, hahaha. Hilarious actor.

    • cjdubbya

      I dig that Jonah Hill squeal for sure, but my personal fave is the Accepted squeal.

      • Michael V

        Hilarious actor, makes me laugh a lot.

  • KidCubbie

    BOOOOM!!!! Goes the dynamite.

    • Steve

      Boom indeed. Well played Kid.

  • cls

    I’m really glad that Jed, Theo and Tom basically said that “No one will out-bid us, we want this guy” and went out and got him. That is what feels best about this to me.

    Glad this kid is a part of our organization.

    • WiCubsFan

      Hendry did the same thing….just saying.

      • MaxM1908

        Yeah, I’m not sure that is such a virtue in and of itself. Signing them within reasonable value and picking battles, however, is a virtue.

  • Patrick G

    So can we have a parade now with just Soler on a float?

  • Jeremy

    30 Mil is completely fine with me. Even if he doesn’t pan out, it’s nice to see a team taking a risk and committing to their plan. Soler fits that plan and is the high upside talent we need in our system and it’s nice to see Rickets stay true to his word, saying that money will not be an issue.

  • emrac

    yes yes yes Theo making the moves slowly but surely. Chicago Cubs on the come up

  • Andrewmoore4isu

    Hey Brett love the site. Avid reader. Occasional poster. First time squealer

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      May it not be the last.

  • Cheryl

    Now we wait for the terms. That will bowl us over, but in a nice way. Squeel!!!

  • Carew

    Where would he start? Peoria? Daytona?

    • cjdubbya

      Maybe pairing him w/ Concepcion in Peoria would be good, at least to have someone familiar to help with the transition?

      • Carew

        Hmm i didnt think of that. Probably will then. Didnt they also sign some others too?

      • djriz

        There are currently 3 Cubans in Peoria and 2 in Daytona, so they have both ‘A’ teams covered.
        I thought I read, when this Soler thing started, that the Cuban league he played in was about High-A level.

        I’m hoping for Peoria, cuz I’m thinking a weekend of watching him and Baez in Chiefs stadium would be cool.

        How about a Bleacher Nation minor league bus tour? Chicago to Tennessee to Peoria to Des Moines. 4 teams…6 days.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I’m in.

        • Jack Weiland

          What, no Boise?

          • djriz

            I’m all for Boise, Mesa and Daytona too, but that would be at least two weeks and mega expensive.
            (and I cant drink for two weeks straight anymore)

    • Noah

      I wouldn’t be surprised if he spends a month or so in either the DSL or the Arizona Summer League, just because he hasn’t played much ball in about a year. I’d bet at least the last month of the season he’s in Peoria, though.

  • Kyle

    Now *there’s* the Theo Epstein I admired from afar when he was with Boston. The guy who sees what he wants and goes for it, and let’s the other, ordinary organizations try to figure out how to react.

  • Rev. Bud Green

    Time for the good Rev to have celebration smoke.

  • Mike S
    • calicubsfan007

      Like the sound of that! 9 years for 30 mill? Theo is one helluva negotiator if these numbers are true.

  • shally

    Ill save my squeal until theo says something. Sports are too sketchy nowadays and miss carrie muskat hasnt reported anything. Youd think the front office would atleast throw her a bone.

  • Matt

    Hey hey, holy mackerel!

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

    To date I think this is the biggest example of why getting Theo was so important. Could be a ginormous steal.

  • Andrew

    I am going to be at the game on Wednesday… Hopefully they will have his jersey in the gift shop 😉 Great move by Theo and the boys!

  • Smitty

    9 years of control? That is a hell of a deal if true.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The money’s the thing, and any escalators/opt-outs. A regular deal would have given the Cubs as many as 10 years of control, so the 9 years isn’t really the thing.

      • Noah

        Also, I’d be surprised if we actually gain anything more than one extra year of team control at the MLB level, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we essentially come out even. He’s barely played baseball in a year, and I’d bet will be starting in Daytona next year. It’s possible he’s ready on day one 2014… but that would be moving very fast. I’d bet more mid-season 2014, start of 2015.

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

        I really want to see this breakdown of $$, just thrilled that it got done right now.

  • North Side Irish

    Tomorrow is 8 months since Theo agreed to a contract with the Cubs. Since then, the front office has added 3 of the Cubs top 5 prospects. This is how you build a team.

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

      @North Side Irish,

      Exactly, and also makes sitting through a season like THIS totally worth it.

      • Jack Weiland

        Exactly. Think about that. At the end of last season the Cubs top prospect according to BA was Brett Jackson. He’s now fifth, and they’re going to have a really high pick in next year’s draft, as well.

        Lots to be excited about.

    • MaxM1908

      Well, Almora isn’t signed yet. Let’s hold our breath until we see how that one comes out. We may get pissy if signing almora costs us the drafted pitching talent.

      • calicubsfan007

        Hope Almora doesn’t do that to us…

        • North Side Irish

          Today is a day for optimism not reality…Almora will get signed. Boras will accept a below slot deal to help the Cubs sign the rest of the pitching they drafted.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            😀  Optimism has a boundary!  That’s more like foolish delusion…..  😀

            • North Side Irish

              sorry…I thought delusion was Boras then hiring Soriano as a $45M intern and allowing him to retire immediately.

        • Toby

          Almora won’t, but rather Scott Boras. I’m not sure if anyone remembers (heck, I can’t remember his name), but years ago there was a Scott Boras client that was picked in the first round and Boras wanted an insane amount of money. The kid went back into the draft, was picked lower, but Boras wanted the same amount of money. The kid went back into the draft and was drafted much much lower and ended up signing for a fraction of what Boras was asking for.

          • djriz

            I may be mistaken, but wasn’t Boras the guy who advised JD Drew with all his shenanigans?

          • DocPeterWimsey

            You might be thinking of Matt Harrington.  However, Boras was his second agent: it was Tom Tanzer who initially rejected the big $$$.  Harrington wound up suing him years later.

            And, yes, Boras was Drew’s agent: and Boras’ “shenanigans” worked out pretty well for Drew in the end.  It also accomplished Boras’ purposes of punishing teams who don’t play nice with him.

            • Toby

              I stand corrected Doc. Thanks for filling me in with Matt Harrington. For some reason, I kept thinking Matt White.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        I suspect that Boras is going to use Appel to make his stand against the CBA rather than Almora.  The Cubs did draft Almora more or less where he was slotted.  The Pirates are trying to take advantage of the new system to sign a guy on the cheap (or so Boras will argue).

  • Matt

    His jersey won’t be able to be sold until he plays in a major league game.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    I’m glad this went through.  Obviously, the hardcore fans of a couple of other teams won’t be happy (I’m looking forward to reading the Yankee and Dodger fan comments on ESPN!), but boo hoo on them….

    “Hopefully they will have his jersey in the gift shop”

    Heh, not until Soler has actually played for the Cubs.  When Strasburg came up a couple of years ago, the Nats had to wait until the first pitch to sell the merchandise.


  • MaxM1908

    It really can’t be 9 years, 30 million. To be that cost controlled until age 29 would be ridiculous and I can’t imagine him signing it. It has to be a 30 million signing bonus with regular MLB salary metrics. Though, it would seem weird to have the 9 year term in that case because he would fare better if he could get to the majors in the next two years.

    • Jack Weiland

      If it was normal team control it wouldn’t be for nine years …

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Is $30M all that much a steal?

      2012: Finish at Single A
      2013: at AA
      2014: AAA/cup of coffee
      2015: 1 year of service time
      2016: 2 years
      2017: 3 years
      2018: Arb 1
      2019: Arb 2
      2020: Arb 3

      • Jack Weiland

        Obviously the answer to this question depends on how good he is. But if he’s making $5MM a year for those 6 ML seasons? He could easily demolish that. That’s like a one-win player, and obviously the Cubs (and a lot of other teams) think he could be much, much more.

        He has a really good chance of being worth that $30MM, at the very least.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        If he makes it to that 2010 year as a big leaguer, a guy you want to tender a contract to each year, and as a starting right fielder, he’s going to be someone making between $5 and $10 million in those arb years (without considering what happens to arb salaries in the next seven years – my guess is they’re going up).

        And this isn’t a normal signing – it’s not a kid in the Draft. As a total free agent, a huge chunk of what you pay him is just to get him to sign. Chapman got six years and $25 or $30 million, no? He was obviously more big-league ready, but he also wasn’t the last bonus baby before restrictions kick in.

        A straight up 9/$30M deal here would be a steal. Which is why I don’t think it’s straight up. There are wrinkles, I’m sure.

        • Jack Weiland

          Re: wrinkles

          Possible examples? Performance incentives, etc? Some sort of vesting option based on service time? Any others off the top of your head?

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            The big one is opting out for arbitration. If he’s a superstar by his third year in the league, he can opt out, forgo whatever he’s owed in the contract, and instead take the Cubs to arbitration (where he could get $7 to $10 million that first year alone (again, if he’s a superstar)).

            • Jack Weiland

              At that point, who cares? The Cubs have a superstar RF …


        • Cubbie Blues

          I thought performance based bonuses were nixed in the new CBA.

          • Jack Weiland

            Very possible, I haven’t read the new CBA in full.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Sounds familiar (by the way, true “performance” bonuses have long been forbidden – i.e., hitting X number of homers; that’s why you see bonuses tied to awards or number of games played/completed).

      • Jack Weiland

        And, not to mention, you really cannot stress enough that this was “the last” of these big IFA signings for at least five years. Soler got more than he might have had that not been the case, and I am TOTALLY fine with the Cubs making that move. You can’t analyze this transaction in a vacuum.

  • xavier gunz

    someone tweeted yesterday that Theo said he would lose out on this or something along those lines. Im happy we won this guy. and Im glad Theo said that and lived up to it.

  • Bren

    Jonah Hill rockin out to Mars Volta….thats a great GIF

  • Cooper R

    Stephen Bruno just tweeted he’s officially a Chicago Cub

  • Steve

    My only question….can a team come in now and say….”Well, we’ve discussed it and we are willing to go 32 mill??

    • Jack Weiland

      Not really. This wouldn’t have gotten out unless all the other teams who were in it thought the price was too high and backed out. These guys squeezed every last penny they could out of this deal, I’m quite sure they gave all the “other” teams a last shot at topping the Cubs’ offer.

  • oswego chris

    been reading a ton of the scouting reports

    CEILING- Vlad Guerrero

    AVG COMP- Ellis Valentine(before most of your time)

    BUST- Ryan Harvey (yikes!)

    prototype RF…ARM and POWER are best skill set…

    • Stinky Pete

      That is the loosiest, goosiest comp I have ever heard!! Well he could be supper good. Maybe make the hall of fame. Of course he could be really bad and never reach the majors. Does that give you a clear direction?

      Ellis Valentine = Cannon.

      • hardtop

        “supper good”

        well, if he doesnt pan out, we can at least eat him.

        just messing around pete, im the king of the typo, but i had to take this one.

        • Stinky Pete

          Haha! I supppose since I’m tweaking Chris, I can’t get too upset at you tweaking me. Ah, hell. It’s too much of a happy day to get all upset anyway!!

    • Kyle

      Big arm, big bat, unknown contact abilities. Ryan Harvey’s not a bad comp at all. But he’s already a bit more accomplished than Harvey was at the same age, it seems.

  • Toby

    Ellis Valentine was a solid player.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      He had an absolute gun.  With him and Dawson in the Montreal outfield, you just sort of hoped guys would try to take the extra base just to marvel at the throw.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    Keith Law has chimed in on the signing, saying that Soler would have been a Top 5 pick.  Obviously, one can quibble about exact rankings, but that suggests that the Cubs got two Top 10 picks worth of talent this year.  (Assuming Almora is signed, of course….)

  • DowntownLBrown

    I think thats a good deal. Love the Mad Men squeal too

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Wasn’t that when her father gave her tickets to see the Beatles?  Oh, for a time machine….

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