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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.

  • Cub Style

    YEEEEEEHAWWWWWW

  • W_Francisco

    Now we need almora to stop whining and sign, imagine an outfield in 3 years with almora jackson and soler, with the continued defensive improvement of castro and rizzo at first, this is a very very optomistic squeal. Btw, any chance the blue jays would be willing to move D’arnaud? lets say for a guy named..i dont know garza?

    • NC Brad

      I think 3 years may be a little optimistic for Almora and Soler. Don’t get me wrong this is a HUGE signing, but to assume that Almora and Soler are going to Major League starters, let alone contributing players in 3 years is too optimistic.

      Prospects miss all the time, this isprobably the biggest moment of the 2012 season but to already assume both Almora and Soler will be starters for the 2015 Chicago Cubs is unrealistic.

      • Cooper R

        2-3 years is way more realistic for Soler than Almora.

        • Doug Dascenzo

          Yes, assuming he’s actually older than 19. haha

      • W_Francisco

        I would tend to agree, especially since this new regime has already shown they are not ones to push prospects up too quickly, but since soler already has this contract, they would bring him up as soon as its ready as apposed to a rizzo type situation where they would prefer to wait for another year in control.

    • LWeb23

      the way our offense is turning out to look like, i would almost keep garza. also, there is the fact that the top of the draft next year (i know, its realllllyyy early) is supposed to have 2 stud catchers. So I think I’d rather trade Garza for SP than D’arnaud.

  • HuskerCub

    Holy Cow and welcome to the Cubs Egroj Relos!

  • Vladimir

    Just got back from buying a new 32″ LED for my gaming. What awesome fricken news to come back to. Brett (and everyone), how do you like this one for a reaction vid? PLEASE WATCH! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO-j-WQ0fG8

  • Mick

    Whoa, what a great start for the new regime. I respect that they committed to the rebuilding process from the start and they’ve stuck with that commitment. It’s a hard pill to swallow you’re sitting in the basement of MLB when you basically have unlimited financial resources to start plugging holes with high-priced veteran FAs. These guys have demonstrated to be extremely methodical when they set their minds to something so, the next month will be really interesting to see who they’re able to trade what the return will be.

    P.S. I was at the weekend series in Minnesota and Soriano was a monster. You’d have to think there’d be some rising interest in Soriano amongst AL teams at a discounted price. Dempster might be the first to go but I predict Soriano will be the 2nd.

  • http://www.obstructedview.net berselius

    If the deal is as simple as the 9/30 being reported, I’m much happier than I was when I was complaining about this earlier this morning (laughing). I was thinking it was something more like the 4/27 that was being thrown around a few months ago.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah, that should put into context how much of a “steal” this deal is. If he got 4/$27, and then became a regular big leaguer, he would make, what, $45 million in those 9 years? Obviously there’s a whole lot of guessing here, but you can all see the point.

  • Leroy K.

    Hell yeah!!!! We did it!!!! Sorry guys just got here, was playing Softball and scored the game tying run!!!!

  • notcubbiewubbie

    some great news !!! now lets give him time to develop hopefully if i am still around 2015 might be totally awesome. way to go jed theo and jason.

  • RWakild

    Woo hoo!!! Nice to see we got our man.

  • Edwin

    I heard Jorge Soler swings a bat carved from the Sacred tree at Uppsala.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      And you can only get Soler out if he fouls the ball off of his heel.

      • Cubbie Blues

        You misheard, the ball never has a chance to get to his heels. By the time the ball reaches the ground he is already on first.

      • Myles

        Soler on the DL with an arrow to the Achilles

      • Edwin

        His glove was created in the forge of Hephaestus.

    • Toby

      Are Jorge Soler tall tales going to be a running gag for now on? I remember 670 the Score used to do those with Aaron Rowand and were some of the most hilarious things I have ever heard. I really hope we do the same with Soler.

    • cubfanincardinalland

      That Soler is so fast, when he flips the light switch at night, he is already under the covers before the lights go out
      Cars look both ways when Jorge crosses the street in Cuba.

      • Edwin

        See, I like those jokes, but they’re basically just Chuck Norris jokes using a different name. ESPN started doing the same thing with Tim Tebow and it bugged the shit out of me. If we do some cool mythology thing with Soler, let’s be original about it. Greek Mythological references, Norse Mythology, or even Game of Thrones would work nicely.

        • cubfanincardinalland

          Nah, Chuck could never hit the curveball.

          • Tom

            Are you saying our lord and savior Chuck Norris can’t hit a curve ball?

            • cubchymyst

              major leagues is a great movie

              • Tom

                Yes it is. Forgive the edit of the Eddie Harris quote – but it fit the response better :)

        • MaxM1908

          That’s not a Chuck Norris joke reference, that’s a Cool Papa Bell reference.

          • AP

            You beat me to it. I love hearing about Cool Papa Bell.

          • hardtop

            “Let me tell you about Cool Papa Bell. One time, he hit a line drive right past my ear. I turned around and saw the ball hit his rear end as he slid into second.”  s. paige

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Hmmmm…. “Soler is Coming.”

  • Cubs217

    Think this signing provides the Cubs with any negotiating leverage with Almora since he is now not far and away the best Cubs OF prospect? The Cubs could now theorectically say “we dont need you as badly, we will take the pick next yr. in a stronger draft rather than drastically pay overslot.” Not that I think signability is a problem with Almora, just throwing out thoughts

    • Jack Weiland

      I don’t think it changes that negotiation one bit. The Cubs position won’t change, and neither will Almora’s.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I hope that Boras has just sipped water when the Cubs say that because the sight of water coming out of someone’s nose as they laugh is always amusing.  Boras (and Jed & Theo) knows that the Cubs system needs major talent and that you develop X good players by signing 3X potentially good players.  If the Cubs have both Soler and Almora, then there is a really good chance that they’ll have a good OFer from this year’s signings in 5 years.

      One nice thing about this contract is that it is difficult to see how Boras can leverage it against the Cubs.  Yes, it’s for $30M, but basically about $3.3M/year.  Given that they seem to be comparable talents, it will be tough for Boras to say: “you paid that much more for the other guy, slotting be damned…..”

      • cubfanincardinalland

        Boras has very little leverage and he knows it, why he went off on his little rant last week. His option is to take the 2.5-3 million now, or go to school and hope he can get near the same in 3 years when he has one year of college left. Or go play against inferior talent in junior college and hope he doesn’t get beaned in the head.
        And although the Cubs would love to have him, they get the seventh pick in a better draft next year instead.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Boras might lack leverage for any one player, but a potentially sound tactic would be to make the new CBA irritate as many teams as possible over the next 5 years.

  • http://cubsrumorsandnews.blogspot.com/ HotStoveCubbies

    Love the idea of this lineup in the not to distant future.

    1. Brett Jackson LF
    2. Starlin Castro SS
    3. Anthony Rizzo 1st
    4. Jorge Soler RF
    5. Albert Almora CF
    6. Javier Baez 3rd
    7. Junior Lake 2b
    8. Welington Castillo C
    9. Pitcher

    Oddly enough we may need a lefty in there because right now we have a ton of lefties. Maybe Zeke DeVoss will improve a lot from now until then.

    • Patrick G

      If these players play to their potential and what we’ve heard about them, this could be a really good lineup. Super excited

      • Leroy K.

        wow!!! simply wow….we will be so young and have so many years to gel together…

    • EQ76

      I’m sure, somehow in that not too distant future, Koyie Hill will have a spot on the bench as our backup catcher.

      • Toby

        It’s almost going to be reminiscent of Glenallen Hill who, for a while, was someone I joked as being signed to one year deals only to be traded mid-season.

      • http://cubsrumorsandnews.blogspot.com/ HotStoveCubbies

        God have mercy! I think Neifi Perez actually changed his name to Koyie Hill so he can remain on the Cubs and annoy me. Both are equally frustrating.

    • Mick

      With this lineup we’d only have about $120 million to round out the rotation and bullpen.

      • cubfanincardinalland

        Maybe they will resign Sori to another 8 year deal for old time sakes.

    • Patrick G

      Not to mention prospects dealt for with Garza, Dempster trades

    • djriz

      For all you youngsters out there. This lineup reminds me of the significantly homegrown lineup of another Cubs’ team. The 1962-63 Cubs.
      Kessinger, Beckert, Williams, Banks, Santo, Hundley, Brock…and it took that team until 1969 to be great (and, yes, they were great). Ya, 6 years.

      Anyway, If something like this were to be reality, and all these players reached most of their potential, that would give us a 4 or 5 year window where all the free agent money would go to pitching.

      That would mean Brett would have to find MANY more squeal pictures, cuz we’d be winning a few World Series.

      • Leroy K.

        I wasn’t alive for that but my mother said that that was one of her favorite Cubs teams…

        • djriz

          rub it in, youngster.

          • Leroy K.

            sorry djriz. I was born in 82….

      • Kyle

        I hope for a bit more success in the next decade than that group had :(

        • DocPeterWimsey

          They’ll have a few more night games and more playoff openings each season!

          Still, I’ve been excited by Cubs prospects in the past….

        • djriz

          yes, but this team has the ability to ‘buy’ pitching, the ’60′s team couldn’t. now, which of these stars will be traded for ernie broglio?

          • calicubsfan007

            @dijriz: Don’t get me started on that one. No way in hell Theo would trade the next lou brock for the next injury prone crap pitcher that Broglio was.

      • OlderStyle

        I’m not that old, but old enough to know the economies of scale and free agency has drastically changed the MLB landscape since those times.

        The idea that our lineup is completely *homegrown* does nothing for me. The idea that we have a playoff caliber team with both free agents and developed players does. I just want them to win.

  • Robbo

    best news of the season! squeal is right!

  • beerhelps

    Instead of a Bleacher Nation meet and greet at Wrigley maybe we should all meet up sometime in Peoria…. drinks at my place before the game!

    • http://cubsrumorsandnews.blogspot.com/ HotStoveCubbies

      I would be so down with that but one question… Do that have a White Castle in Peoria? I have been craving those and have none in my area. Would make the trip complete!

      • beerhelps

        I freakin wish …. sadly we do not

  • North Side Irish

    From Keith Law’s article on ESPN…

    The deal will likely cover Soler’s minor league time and most, if not all, of his major league time before he reaches free agency — perhaps five of the six years required — assuming he develops as expected. An average of $5 million to $6 million per year for five to six years of a player who should be an above-average regular or better would be very reasonable for the Cubs, reflecting the significant risk involved in a player whose hit tool is still a bit of an unknown. He’ll be able to opt out of his deal to undergo the regular arbitration process, however, so the Cubs’ upside on the deal itself is somewhat limited. Among prospects currently in the Cubs’ system, he’d rank behind only Anthony Rizzo, who has less upside but far greater probability.

  • North Side Irish

    keithlaw ‏@keithlaw
    I’ll be on ESPN 1000 Chicago in a few minutes to talk about Jorge Soler.

    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/chicago/play

  • Jack Weiland

    Keith Law going on ESPN Chicago in a couple minutes to talk about this …

  • JoeCub

    Please don’t be a bust. And I hope he doesn’t stay in the DSL (hoping he can make it to Peoria by season end) all summer as I’ve seen suggested by a few.

  • MaxM1908

    Wow, I’m liking the opt-out (though I’d like to know the parameters). If indeed Soler fails to be a force in the majors, I view 30 million as an acceptable risk.

  • gutshot5820

    insider ESPN:

    He’ll be able to opt out of his deal to undergo the regular arbitration process, however, so the Cubs’ upside on the deal itself is somewhat limited. Among prospects currently in the Cubs’ system, he’d rank behind only Anthony Rizzo, who has less upside but far greater probability.

    • cubchymyst

      More upside then Rizzo, that is good to hear. The cubs will be a good young team in a few years if half of these players pan out.

      • Cubs Dude

        I feel like the experts are always hating on Rizzo’s upside. He did have a rough time in the big leagues last year, but he was only 21. What else can he do in AAA? I think he has the upside to be a Joey Votto typle player. Is Soler’s upside Barry Bonds on ped’s?

  • Kyle

    I fully expect, unless Theo’s got a mega-deal for a major league superstar, for this to be a top-3 farm system in 15 months. Rizzo and Jackson will be the only impact graduations I expect in that timeframe.

    The trade deadline should add a lot of nice prospect depth, but I don’t expect any major guys to be acquired (no one who would slot into our top-5).

    I expect us to win the race to the bottom with the Padres and have the 1.1 pick and the biggest IFA draft pool next year. We should be able to add two more top-100 type prospects with those resources.

    I have a lot of faith in our front office’s developmental abilities, so by the end of next year some of that mass of interesting A-ball and below guys we have will have turned into top-10 organizational prospects as well (like Junior Lake has done recently).

    So in the offseason lists preceding the 2014 season, I’d think there’s a good chance the Cubs have 5-8 of the top-100 lists.

    Of course, it’s a *looong* way from that to MLB success, but I’ll take it as a first step.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Tracyy Lusk

    Do you think any of the other 4 Cubans declared eligible are worth looking at before the July deadline?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Looking at, yes. Paying “extra” because of the impending CBA change? Probably not.

  • North Side Irish

    KLaw was just on ESPN 1000 and said that if the Cubs sign Almora, they could have FOUR Top 50 prospects on his list heading into next season. that assume Rizzo still qualifies as a prospect, but it’s exciting to think about since they had only one in the top 75 on last year’s list (Rizzo was #36).

    Law said that Cubs need patience with Soler and that he needs time to adjust to better pitching than he’s ever faced. Law said that even the pitching at A ball would be a big jump over what Soler’s faced in international competition. But that Soler is a huge addition to the farm system.

    He also commented on how impressed he was with Baez and that he’s excited to see him in a full season league this season.

  • Leroy K.

    Speaking of Soler, one A.L. scout summed him up in four words, “Strength legit. Power bat.”

  • Chad

    Well I’m on vacation at Walt Disney World with my wife and lil girl and i must say…this news is up there with the chili cheese fries I just ate from my resort! This truly is the cat’s pajamas!

  • KC

    What would our top prospects look like now? Our 5 top could be in the Top 100 or even 50. With the way Rizzo is playing no way Almora beats him like I have heard.

    1 Rizzo
    2 Almora (Assuming he signs)
    3. Jackson
    4 Baez
    5 Soler
    6 Szczur
    7 Vitters
    8 Lake

    • Kyle

      I think most people say Rizzo first, then some combination of Almora/Soler/Baez (any order is defensible), then Jackson. Vitters is a borderline top-10 guy. A bunch of guys could be put in the 6-12 range, but there’s a clear drop-off after Jackson.

      I don’t know if Jackson would make the top-100 right now. He’d be close, right on the borderline in the 80-120 range, imo. But the first four probably would.

    • Chief

      Almora, Rizzo, Soler, Jackson, Baez, Maples, Szczur, McNutt, Vitters, Concepcion is how I look at the Cubs top ten in that order. I can’t possibly justify ranking Baez above Soler, sorry.

      • LWeb23

        I think I agree ith each spot in those rasnkings

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Keith Law put all of the first round draft picks into their respective teams rankings and put Almora ahead of Rizzo.  Remember, Law is projecting: he’s really estimating how good these guys will be relative to one another in their primes.

      Law tacitly ranked Soler just ahead of Almora by stating that Soler would have been (or should have been) drafted ahead of Almora.

      I’m not sure how the rest of the list would fall out.  Vitters had fallen out the Cubs Top 10 before this year.  It’s possible that his recent hot streak will re-elevate him, but my guess is that scouts will want to see that sustained before they accept it as just a random hot streak.  Jackson might have fallen below Baez: it’s pretty clear that his K rate will be Reynolds-like.

    • Dane

      No pitching in top 8..

      Where does Johnson (supp. 1st rounder) fit in?

      • Chief

        Johnson come in near the bottom of the top ten. He’s got a little funky in his follow through that makes a lot of talent evaluators nervous, and he had a forearm strain that has me worrying about his elbow. In all honesty, I like Paul Blackburn better than Johnson. I feel as if Blackburn has more polish and better control to go along with his better health. Johnson has better stuff without a doubt, but his elbow terrifies me.

  • North Side Irish

    Bruce Levine now saying Soler can opt out of the deal during any of his arbitration years. Cubs would retain his rights, but if he’s any good, he’ll get more in arbitration than he is guaranteed by this contract.

    So basically, if he develops into a major leaguer, this will likely end up being more than a $30M deal.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      This isn’t a criticism, just a reminder that, on these “UPDATES” type posts, that kind of thing is usually being put into the body of the post as soon as it comes out (in this case, about 30/45 minutes ago). Again: completely and totally not a criticism, and I appreciate the update. Just want to remind folks to keep checking the updates for the latest.

      • North Side Irish

        How dare you, sir. Strutting around the message boards like you own the place…wanting people to read the content you write like it’s your own site.

      • SirCub

        Rosenthal confirmed it: Soler to the Cubs!

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          :)

  • TC

    Bruce Levine reporting that Soler can become a FA, not arb eligible, by opting out once he is arbitration eligible.

    Suddenly this looks a little less like a steal, and a whole lot more confusing

    • cubchymyst

      Where did you see that

    • MaxM1908

      That would be insane. It essentially amounts to no control and no upside to having the contract in place. You pay him a ton to develop (and a ton if he fails) and then when he’s ready to contribute, you have to renegotiate against every other team in MLB. I would be very disappointed if Theo and Jed agreed to that kind of a deal, and I can’t believe that they would.

      • cubchymyst

        I don’t think that is the case which is why I’m asking, as brett has above it is an opt out for arbitration with the cubs not free agency

    • North Side Irish

      Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal
      Soler can NOT leave #Cubs during 9-year deal. He can only opt out of financial terms during arb-eligible years.

      • MaxM1908

        See, that makes. Still likely to be expensive for Cubs, but well worth it if he pans out. Essentially, this amounts to a $30 million signing bonus for a prospect. He still has to go through the minors and prove himself, but once he reaches MLB, he has a bit more control over his salary. For a while, at least, arbitration won’t be that attractive to him. Once it is, he’ll likely be so good that we won’t mind throwing him more money. (My apologies for this being similar to a point Brett made in his post).

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah, Bruce should probably think a bit before he jumps at the words “opt out” next time. That was a big oops.

  • tom

    lets not put the cart ahead of horse, with Cubs luck this could be another Soriano, Remember He has never seen major league pitching, Great he signs with Cubs BUT wait to see on the field in minors and how long before he get to Wrigley Field, He is not God, it takes more then 1 player to win win win !!!

    • TWC

      “with Cubs luck this could be another Soriano”

      Holy hell, if Solar turns out to be another Alfonso Soriano I’d freakin’ wet myself with delight!  A seven time All Star, four time top-20 in the MVP voting, a career .829 SLG/ 113 OPS+?  Hell yes.  A thousand times over.

    • LWeb23

      If he ends up like Soriano, that would be fine. Imagine if we signed Soriano for 9 years, 30 million rather than 8 years, 136 million. If you’re paying a guy 3.33 million a year, him being a bust won’t really hurt you that bad.

      Edit: And when I say ‘bust’, I am not saying Soriano is a bust. Just a lack of better wording. He is a good player thats being paid like an MVP. I’m more than happy with paying a good player 3.33 million

      • Cubs Dude

        Imagine if we had Soriano in his 20′s when he was good.

        • LWeb23

          Exactly, like TWC put it above my first comment.

          A seven time All Star, four time top-20 in the MVP voting, a career .829 SLG/ 113 OPS+?

          • MaxM1908

            Don’t forget that two of those All-Star honors were with the Cubs.

        • MaxM1908

          And also, I’ve been looking at Sori’s stats. He’s actually putting up comparable numbers this year to some of his All Star seasons. We feel like we’re getting some money’s worth this year.

      • cubchymyst

        It would also be a 9 year deal for Soriano when he was in his prime, not his 30′s

    • cubchymyst

      I’d take another Soriano, he did have a 40/40 season with washington and before that a few 30/30 seasons.

      • MaxM1908

        If Soler tracked Soriano’s career, we’d have control over him until the end of Soriano’s stint with Texas. I’d take that in a heartbeat with this deal. I’d even advocate for resigning him to a player friendly deal (preferably not on the scale of Cubs’ Soriano contract).

        • cubchymyst

          Agreed, Soriano has always had a bat that help carry a team when he is on his hot streaks. When he was younger those hot streaks came more frequently and lasted longer.

    • wvcubsfan

      That would really be terrible (sarcasm) to have the same production as Sori for the first 9 years of his pro career

  • James

    VIA Ken Rosenthal:

    Soler can NOT leave Cubs during 9-year deal. He can only opt out of financial terms during arb-eligible years.

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