Quantcast

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.

  • KC

    I just love our future

    CF Almora
    SS Castro
    1st Rizzo
    3rd Baez
    RF Soler
    LF Jackson
    2nd Lake
    C Clevenger/Castillo

    • TC

      If even half of those prospects work out we’ll be outrageously lucky

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Yes, as all of those Kelton/Montanez to Hill to Choi double plays showed…..

        • Kyle

          Remember that Zambrano/Cruz/Guzman/Bruback/Christiansen rotation?

          • DocPeterWimsey

            We did have Zambrano & Cruz in the rotation together in late 2001.  Cruz looked so much better than Z. at that point, too….

          • ferrets_bueller

            The Cubs screwed up Cruz so badly….still misses me off. Maybe even more than Dusty ruining Corey Patterson does.

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        Outside of Rizzo and Almora, we would have to bring in other guys to be a better defense. As said above, we would be extremely lucky to have even half of those guys make it. I personally like the possibility of Rizzo, Almora, obviously Castro, and Baez. I am not 100% sold on the others yet. I know we haven’t seen Almora yet, but barring injury, a kid that comes in with that work ethic, puts himself in a better position to be successful. He may not have the tools of some, but he won’t be outworked.

        • So Ill Cub Fan

          Don’t sell Brett Jackson’s defense short. I’ve watched him with the I-Cubs, and he has the best outfield instincts in the organization.

          • Evenbetternewsv2.0

            That isn’t saying much.

    • cubchymyst

      Any clue on pitching at that point, The current Cubs starting pitchers we have control over after 2 years are Shark, Wood, and Volsted. My guess is free agents we have yet to sign will make up 3/5 of our pitching staff.

      • North Side Irish

        I think you mistyped “5/5″…

        • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          I just spit pop on my computer. Well played.

          • North Side Irish

            sorry for the mess.

            Realistically, I’d say the next playoff rotation has two FAs, one prospect we get in a trade (Garza?), whoever the Cubs draft at 1.1 next year, and someone from the current system.

            • cubchymyst

              No clue what next years prospects look like, are there any big pitchers that look worth selecting in the top 1-3 spots. With that high of a pick the cubs will take the best player, whether or not it is a pitcher.

              • Kyle

                Too early to tell. The early thoughts is that there should be a couple guys better, or at least as good as, the crop of college pitchers from this last draft.

                These are 17-20 year old kids, for the most part, and they are still developing physically. Some interesting, top-50 college pitcher could come back in the fall with an extra 5 MPH on his fastball and rocket to the top of the draft.

                I remember in 2000, when the Cubs finished with the second-worst record overall, all the speculation at this time was whether we would get to the No. 1 overall pick in 2001 so we could take Mark Teixeira. I don’t recall anyone being that excited about any pitchers. But by time the draft came around, Mark Prior had established himself as a once-a-decade pitching prospect.

                • cubchymyst

                  You think the cubs might get Appel if he doesn’t sign?

                  • Kyle

                    Unless Appel gets a lot better in the next year, I’m hoping for someone a lot better with our first pick.

                    • ferrets_bueller

                      “Unless Appel gets a lot better in the next year, I’m hoping for someone a lot better with our first pick.”
                      God, this.

                      Appel is not 1-3 pick type material. At all.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                    You can think of Appel as the likely baseline.  The Cubs should be able to do no worse than Appel in the next year’s draft.

                    • Cubs Dude

                      I am just hoping the Cubs can pull some shenanigans like the Astros did and we way under pay our first pick next year so we can over slot other guys to sign. That first pick seems to have a ton of leverage. Especially if there is no clear cut guy.

                    • hansman1982

                      What’s the restriction for non-drafted free agents to sign whatever $$? With college juniors, aren’t their backs against a similar wall as the seniors, just with the prospect of more money?

                    • Andrew

                      Hansman – I keep wondering the same kind of thing. Over time we’re going to see some way for guys to get around this system. Any underclassman has the threat of going back to college (and getting drafted into this slotted system again) as their only leverage. A college senior has no leverage. But… can some of these guys play in an Independent League for a year and then sign for whatever money a team is willing to throw at them? It may be unconventional (and there may even be rules against it I don’t know about), but what would there be to keep a high draft pick from simply forgoing the money in front of them to eventually work around the system and become a “free agent.”

                      I assume this would only work for US-based players, but I’m just curious what process we will look at 5 years from now as we scream for the process to change…

              • North Side Irish

                No real way to tell this early, but I’ve seen multiple people say next year currently looks like a stronger class than this year’s. You’ll probably hear a lot Karsten Whitson (SP – Florida)…or it could end up being Mark Appel with no leverage.

        • cubchymyst

          I guess it really depends on if Garza gets traded or not, and what type of prospects we get back. I think the cubs will try to sign at least 1 big name starting pitcher, or trade for one. So at least 2/5 of the starting pitching staff in 3-5 years are currently not with the cubs.

    • Dave

      Odds say maybe four of these guys will make it. You can count Castro if they don’t trade him and probably Rizzo, and Jackson. Everyone else is a question mark for one reason or another.
      The good news is the Cubs don’t need to field a starting lineup of players from their farm system to compete.
      Free agent signings and trades should play a big part also.

    • Joepoe123

      David kapland 2015 lineup on Comcast sports net central
      1.Brett Jackson -LF
      2.Castro -SS
      3.Almora-CF
      4.Rizzo-1B
      5.soler-RF
      6.Barz-3B
      7.Junior lake-2B
      8.Clevenger-C
      9.Shark as potcher

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Not to mention the top 3 overall draft pick we’ll get in next years draft too. It could be another stud guy in that lineup

  • mak

    I don’t like ranking hitting/pitching prospects together, because it makes little sense. I’ll say that our hitting prospects are top 5 in the league: Rizzo, Baez, Almora, Soler, Jackson, Vitters, Sczcur, Lake, Vogelbach, Candelerio, Hernandez, Almaya, DeVoss, Alcantara, Hoon-Ha, Easterling is how I’d rank them.

    Pitching prospects, probably bottom 5? McNutt, Maples, Concepion, Whitenack, Burke, Francescon, Cabrera, ??. Not so good.

    • Nathan

      I agree with you but you forgot to add any of this years draft in that list like Johnson, Blackburn, Underwood etc which makes the pitching deeper and stronger than it was

  • josh

    meh. whatever. It will be a few years before we see him in the bigs. best of luck to him, hope it works out for us down the road, as for now, meh. its hard to get too excited at the moment but i am glad we got him.

  • Njriv

    Great news! As great as this is for the Cubs organization there is still some work to be done, Now time to move to the next steps, to get those draft picks signed and dish out some trades!

  • Ogyu

    OK, great work Cubs. Now back to the important business of losing 108 games and getting next year’s number one draft pick…

  • James

    Yep, if we’re gonna blow, we might as well go all out and be the worst and get that #1 pick.

  • Alex

    Should the Cubs go after Gustavo Cabrera when the international signing period starts or am I getting greedy now?

    • Kyle

      It’s way too early to tell how teams will react to the new CBA, but my guess is the Cubs don’t get any of the really big names in this year’s IFA session.

      Teams who expect to be good and have small IFA pools next year will just go over their pool and get a guy like Cabrera at whatever the cost, and accept the restrictions in the 2013 signing period. But the Cubs, who may well have the biggest IFA pool in 2013, won’t want to risk restrictions.

      • Alex

        Great points. Thanks for the info Kyle.

        I hope the Cubs can at least get one or two top 20 prospects from the international pool this year to add to the farm system.

        • Kyle

          My prediction is that the Cubs win the race for the worst record in 2012, setting them up to have the biggest IFA pool on July 2, 2013 when the 2013-2014 signing period begins. That’s also the day that teams can begin trading IFA pool space, with a team allowed to add up to 50% of their original allocation.

          The Cubs will quickly trade to add the full 50% to their already-biggest allotment, and then just proceed to utterly abuse the IFA market so badly that the league steps in and implements the full international draft by 2014.

          • Luke D

            World domination under Theo…I like it.

            From zeroes to heroes. The Cubs will conquer all.

  • cubchymyst

    Szczur, does he have a future with the cubs or trade bait? I think he gets another year before a decision is made.

  • supergeek24

    I have a funny feeling Jackson is trade bait

  • http://twitter.com/dkhockey24 David
  • Bric

    Finally definitive proof that Bigfoot exists, and is a capitalist. Now if we could only find that damn Loch Ness monster.

    “No, you God damn Loch Ness Monsta, I ain’t givin’ you no three fitty!”

    • MaxM1908

      Awesome South Park reference.

    • beerhelps

      I gave him a dollar

  • brian

    Quick question, since he is signing a major league deal, does that money go towards the major league payroll or is the contract going to be head with the minor league team and technically off the books of the Cubs?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Major League payroll, but it’s all money, if that makes sense.

      • brian

        Thanks Brett, yeah I was just wondering about.

    • Kyle

      Both? Neither?

      When you see “MLB Payroll” printed in the newspapers or whatever, this won’t be part of it.

      But the Cubs (and I assume most teams) don’t calculate it that way. They have a total baseball budget, that includes everything from MLB payroll to scouts’ salaries.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        To add: there’s the 40-man payroll and the 25-man, and both are constantly changing. There really isn’t a set payroll number until the end of the season, but we need something to discuss, so we can kind of pick and choose what we consider to be the “Major League payroll.”

        • cubchymyst

          Does Soler go on the 40 man roster, if so will someone/ who will be dropped?

          • Puma0821

            Hopefully Koye Hill. Could also do Lalli.

  • MaxM1908

    More Good News! Looks like we may be close to signing some draftees: http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2012/06/update-on-cubs-draft-signings/

    I’m particularly interest in the Tomscha signing. I watched some video on him and he looks talented.

    • cubmig

      Thanks for that link. I was wondering why I kept reading about how other teams had locked up their draft pick(s) and the no news on what was going on with the Cubs.

      • MaxM1908

        I’ve been confused about it too. My guess is the Cubs are hesitant to do much dealing with rounds 2-10 until they can get a sense of what Almora and their supplemental pitcher picks are going to cost them. So, they’ve probably asked them to hold on while they do the dance with Boras and others.

        • JoeyCollins

          Wouldn’t be surprised if they have some verbal deals with the 6-10 guys who were probably under slot picks but don’t want boras to know how much money he can squeeze.

  • Mrp

    Hopefully he joins Concepcion at Peoria so I can go see them and Baez when they come to South Bend. May have to get a ticket to all 3 of those games now. Oh and OMG OMG SQUEEEEEEEEEEL!!!

    • MaxM1908

      If they put him in Peoria, I may make a special trip downstate just to see the three of them play. I’m very jealous of folks in Des Moines in 2014.

  • KC

    I think we need to sign Garza to an extension. Then turn around and sign Hamels and Greinke.

    Rotation:
    Hamels
    Garza
    Greinke
    Samardzija
    resign Dempster to a team friendly deal or one of Colman, Wells, Wood, Volstad, McNutt, Whitnack, Cates

    • Mrp

      I’m not thrilled with the idea of getting Greinke. His anxiety issues really bother me. I’m not sure he handles the pressures that come along with being a Cub (or any major market big city team). I’d say to go balls out on Hamels though. If you can handle Philly, you can handle anything. Oh and he is pretty damn good too.

      • KC

        I agree but as a #3 there would be less pressure wouldn’t there. We have payroll coming off the books again! How often are there dominate pitchers under 30 available in the free agent market?

      • jr5

        The anxiety thing is overblown. It’s something to consider, yes, but he currently performs in front of tens of thousands of people. There are people every day who struggle with anxiety in much less stressful environments. I highly doubt that someone capable of overcoming anxiety issues to pitch for the Brewers would then be overwhelmed by the Cubs. That is, it’s not a matter of being able to pitch for one team vs another, it’s a matter of being able to get out of bed in the morning.

  • Cubsin

    I saw a report that teenage Cuban LHP Omar Luis is a free agent. Do the Cubs have any interest? Here’s a link: http://www.baseballdecuba.com/EngnewsContainer.asp?id=2242

  • osf666

    Wait till NEXT year!!! LMFAO!!!!!!!

  • Richard Nose

    Are there any nude pics of Soler floating around?

  • T Larson

    I’m afraid for the next couple years you won’t see any free agents signing here except for those that fit a specific need like Dejesus. The only other exception would be 26 year old free agent or younger, which is pretty rare. The idea is to obtain players entering their prime ont those already in their prime. That way the nucleus will be young and grow together. The Cubs will be better off in the long run.

  • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

    Brandon Morrow just left the Blue Jays game with an injury. Although I never cheer for anyone’s misfortune this screams opportunity for the Cubs. Blue Jays could be feeling very blue and willing to part with top talent….

    • cls

      If they were on top of their division I’d agree with you. I realize they are only 4 games back, but I’m not sure they are in a “win it all or bust” mode just yet.

  • MaxM1908

    Has anyone checked out this site? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_World_Junior_Baseball_Championship

    It has all the box scores for the games played. You can get a sense of Soler’s performance over the tournament by clicking on all the Cuba box scores. What impressed me most was the number of walks he seemed to take. Granted, it’s against lowly amateur competition, but hey, Almora was on the U.S. side and we’re pumped about him.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The fact that Soler took walks in the WJBC is a good sign: it does show that he is selective rather than simply gifted with great contact skills. Whether he will continue to do this at the professional level remains to be seen: but at least we know what he is not.

  • die hard

    If they have so much money to spend then why do they need City’s help to refurbish Wrigley?

    • Drew7

      Thats like saying, “jeez, the Jones are grilling ribeyes tonight but they cant afford a new car?”

    • ferrets_bueller

      Thats like asking someone who just bought themselves a $30,000 car why they can’t buy themselves a 20 million dollar mansion. Absurd comparison.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Hence the phrase “Penny wise, pound foolish.”

    • Ogyu

      Right. The Cubs should fund Wrigley renovations by reducing player payroll by $350 million. Try again, Einstein.

    • GoldFinch

      Castro will be entering his prime, come on man.

  • die hard

    By the time Soler is ready to contribute, assuming hes the real deal and is only still a teenager, Castro will be past his prime of 25-27…so how does it figure they will play together very long?

    • Jim L

      A players prime is generally regarded to fall in the 27 – 31 age range.

    • Njriv

      I dont consider 25 being past prime

    • Joepoe123

      A players prime is usually at earliest 25-26(27 Average)—–to about at the latest 32-33(31 average)

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Ballplayer aging varies by a few factors, such as body type.  The big, thick-set sluggers usually age quickest, although they frequently still are pretty good as 2-dimensional (power & OBP) players.  Guys with Castro’s build age the slowest: but middle infielders tend to age very rapidly once they do start (usually in the early 30’s).  We have seen that in recent years with Garciapara, Alomar, Sandberg, etc.  (Jeter is quite the exception there: insert “but he wasn’t really a middle infielder” jokes here….)  Utley looks like he is following this trend, too.  (Sadly, as he’s on my keeper league team: good thing I drafted Kipnis last year!)

  • Cub Gone Wild

    I think the Cubs should be able to sign many of it’s draftee’s. With the CBA as it is many of these guys won’t improve their draft status buy going to college and hoping their status improves. Now it’s a game of …. Son it is what it is… you can sign now and start making some money and get that much closer to making more or you can go to college and wait a few years and get the same thing we are offering you now. The money is not going to change. Unless someone starts a new professional baseball league like that of the old USFL these guys are stuck with the new system and it won’t get any better for them. The days of the big buck signings are over. So if they want to play baseball for a living they have to accept it. Almora might be able to squeeze a few extra bucks out of Theo but not much. Take this check for $4MM and deposit into a safe investment and start living off the interest and your pay check. The quicker you get moving through the system your pay increases. Welcome to the real world.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    I think the Cubs are without the luxury of babying these kids in the minors for a 3 or 4 years. They need to get them fast tracked through the system and playing games where it matters most. Other organizations are moving the kids quickly and it’s part of the changing times in Major League Baseball. I think the Cubs brass needs to understand that they don’t have the luxury of waiting for years. There won’t be anybody at Wrigley to watch the games. I think Theo under estimates the patience of the Cub Fan. I am happy as hell that we got this kid signed. If he’s good then get him ready ASAP. I think Sveum is trying to tell Theo that with his media comments. Give me what you got in the minors. I will work with them because if they have more potential than the scrubs I’m coaching now at least I can make some progress.

    • MikeL

      Cub Gone Wild,

      If you rush players through the system before they are really ready your top prospects will become Corey Patterson, Felix Pie, Angel Guzman, Choi, etc……This front office is not going to go off track to appeal to the fans. Even if the attendance does drop, this isn’t like the average baseball city…..the fans will come back when the Cubs start winning again…trust me on that.

      • Dave H

        The real fans never leave.

      • djriz

        Patterson, Pie, and Choi may have been hurt by the Cubs not doing a good job of developing players, but I doubt it was just being rushed. If a player has ‘it’, being rushed wont have a long term effect. They just weren’t good prospects.

        I don’t want to see the Cubs ‘rush’ players, but I feel they should ‘push’ them harder.
        Being rushed didn’t seem to hurt Miggy Cabrera and Giancarlo Stanton, and Harper and Trout seem to be adjusting just fine. It takes a few years of Major League experience before a player reaches their potential so the sooner they get there, the better.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Those guys were not “rushed” through the system.  All of them failed for other reasons.  Patterson had no batting eye.  As that is not something that you can learn, he was always going to rely purely on contact skills.  Guzman developed arm problems while still in the minors: but pitching in AA or AAA instead of A or AA did not cause that.  Choi lost his contact abilities following surgery on his wrist: again, while he was a minor leaguer.

        The biggest problem with Cubs prospects is that Hendry used traditional “Topps Card” stats to evaluate players as well as “toolsy” and “character.”  He drafted athletes instead of baseball players.  Boston used a very different system of acquiring players, and guys like Peddy, Els, Paps, etc., went through the minors pretty quickly and then succeeded on the big stage because the Sox focused on guys with good “true” tool kits.

        • Toby

          I could be wrong, but Patterson was showing signs of becoming something then he suffered a really bad knee injury and wasn’t the same after.

          • Jimmy james

            Agree I am probably remembering more fondly but he seemed to carry the offense before going down to injury in 2003

        • GoldFinch

          Hmmm? Can you please explain the “Topps Card” stat evaluation process Doc. I agree with your comment overall, but have not heard of that.

          • LEO L

            I thnk it means using traditional stats like Batting average (like the ones in the back of baseball cards) instead more complicated stats

            • GoldFinch

              Well, as much as I disliked Hendry, I don’t think he relied on baseball cards! Come on now.

              • Cubbie Blues

                No, but he did rely on the kind of stats on those cards ie RBI is not an individual stat.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              LeoL & Cubbie Blues got it right.  Really, you could call them the Triple Crown stats.  I am not sure what I’d call a real equivalent of that: if you lead in both OBP and SLG, then you probably are the league stud.  Maybe BA, isoD and isoP?

              • GoldFinch

                I’m getting an aspirin(LOL)

        • Drew7

          “…guys like Peddy,Els,Paps…”

          – Mike Quade? What’d you do with the doc????

          • DocPeterWimsey

            heh.  Those names take to damn long to spell.  Besides, I still am proud to be both a Sox and Cubs fan!

            In the spirit of things, however, henceforth, I dub thee D7…..

    • GoldFinch

      I don’t think Sveum is “telling” Theo anything!(LOL)

    • baldtaxguy

      The Cubs have the luxury of allowing these kids to develop, and I suspect they will take advantage of that.  I am not sure what the hurry is – if you believe in the plan and the FO, its worth the wait and I know I will enjoy watching it executed. If you need immediate satisfaction, move on to the Bears. Soler’s signing was a great payoff thus far along with the draft, and I am looking forward to the deals up to the trade deadline, and the adding of more names to the list of prospects.

      • GoldFinch

        Absolutely!

      • GoldFinch

        The Bears are another interesting story! I have a little insight into that, but this not the time or place.

  • EB

    Does anyone know if the MLB ever made a ruling in Jairo Beras age case?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Not yet.

      • EB

        Thank you

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Is there anyway if he is found to be of age that the cubs could swoop in and snatch him from the rangers, even though he agreed to terms with the rangers already?

        • GoldFinch

          Of course he is of age. That is an “old” argument.

        • GoldFinch

          Sorry! Jumped into a wrong comment, I think,

        • GoldFinch

          There are easy ways to prove a persons age! Skin cell research!

  • The Dude Abides

    Let’s wait until he hits minor league pitching (something Jackson stilll doesn’t do over 1/3 of the time ) before we get too excited.

  • blublud

    This is a great day. I’m pretty happy about this. As happy as I am about having Soler, even more happy that people can now shut up about the FO not spending money to improve. Nice job Theo and Jed.

  • Don

    Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! It’s a great day to be a Cub Fan! It’s been a frustrating season thus far, but this news about Soler signing takes the sting out. The future looks very bright for the Cubs. Can’t wait to see this kid play.

  • Jeremy

    I seriously went through work all day today with a giant grin on my face. I’m ecstatic right now. This is a big move that shows commitment to building a successful team with a good foundation. Tom Rickets stayed true to his word and made a big statement today.

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+