When the Chicago Cubs designated Randy Wells for assignment yesterday, my first reaction was, “why the DFA, and not just option him to Iowa?” Since the Cubs’ 40-man roster was full at the time, I speculated that the Cubs were anticipating the need to open up a spot on the 40-man soon, and figured they might as well just take care of that with Wells, since the opportunity had presented itself. The specific guy coming on to the 40-man? I was thinking it would be Jorge Soler.

And, from the sound of multiple subsequent reports, that’s going to be happening soon.

The Cubs won the bidding on Soler, a top Cuban outfield prospect, earlier this month, with a reported 9-year, $30 million offer. But, since that June 11 revelation, we’ve heard nothing. The process of getting Soler to the States, taking a physical, dotting various i’s, etc., takes time, so there hasn’t been any reason for concern. Still, we all want to see the kid start playing.

And, with July 2 looming – the date on which new signing restrictions in the international market kick in – you had to figure things would be finalized this week.

I suspect we’ll learn of the finalized deal when the Cubs schedule a press conference, and word leaks that Soler is in Chicago.

After he signs, Soler will likely head to Arizona for a couple weeks of miscellaneous training, and maybe some games with the rookie league club. From there, he’ll be assigned either to Low A (short season) Boise, or A-ball Peoria. My best guess is he ends the year in Peoria either way, with the possibility of climbing rapidly in 2013.

Be patient with him: as with Gerardo Concepcion, you have to remember two things: (1) these kids are adjusting not only to pro baseball in America, they’re adjusting to suddenly LIVING in America (and with a whole lot of money); and (2) we don’t know what they’ve been instructed to work on. You judge the immediate results at your own peril.

Also, with reports flying that fellow Cuban outfield prospect Yasiel Puig has received a deal in excess of $40 million from the Dodgers, it’s possible that we’re going to feel VERY good about the Soler deal at some point in the near future. They’re both lottery tickets, after all, but the Cubs may have bought the one with better odds for less money.

  • Cubs Dude

    This is probably a really dumb question. But since Soler will only play half a year at best in the minors for 2012. Does this year count as one of his 9 years in the contract?

    • andrew

      My guess is it doesnt matter. The cubs will have him under control for no more than 6 years and 171 days of mlb service time regardless of if this counts as a year

      • LWeb23

        Considering the Cubs have to make room on the 40-man roster, it is a major league deal. I believe that it will count as a year, just as when the Rangers recently signed Roy Oswalt in the middle of the season to a 1 year deal, this half year counts as the year.

        That is my guess. Please correct me if I am wrong.

        • hansman1982

          This will count as year 1 of 9 and from my understanding is regardless of service time the Cubs will have control for up to 9 years (assuming he were to start in the bigs tomorrow).

          Now he can opt out during arbitration which would void this contract and subject him to standard service time rules.

          • JulioZuleta

            He can only opt out of the salary he’s earning, but the Cubs will have his rights for 9 years no matter what. His opt outs give him the option of going to arb rather than getting the $3.2 ish mil he’ll be getting each year.

      • Cubs Dude

        Ok, that makes sense. I guess it is all about service time, so that is the important thing.

  • Featherstone

    After reading the reported 40 million deal for Puig who supposedly wouldnt even be a top ten prospect in an average farm system, the 30 million deal for Soler seems like a terrific bargain as quite a few people have said Soler would have been a top 10 pick in this years draft. The difference in quality between those 2 players seems massive.

  • Stu

    Soler may want to think again about how much freedom he has in the USSA. At least in CUBA he didn’t have to PAY(I’m sorry it is an IRS penalty) for his healthcare.

    Sorry about the politics.

    • djriz

      there are a bunch of sites that you can give your political views. it seems the daily caller or fox nation will fit your needs.
      (i’m pretty sure the cubs offer health insurance)

    • TC

      jesus dude do you really think that having to pay for health insurance is so bad that living in an opressive communist state run by an aging dictator is a better option?

      • Matt3

        we live in a democracy, which is communism… we do not live in a republic… so yes, this is bad. someone is forcing business on you, and the police state will enforce it.

        • mak

          Good luck finding a first-world country to live in that doesn’t have an even more socialized version of health care.

          Seriously though, no political commentary on a cubs board.

      • Richard Nose

        Move to Cuba. Free education and healthcare. No television or radio. No Bleachernation. Have fun. I’ll gladly lay in my pile of student loan debt compared to the way people in other countries live.

      • D.G.Lang

        This is an extremely interesting problem.

        According to the new law, not just any insurance or health care will suffice, but only ‘APPROVED’ health care plans will qualify. If one doesn’t have a QUALIFYING health care plan then they will be forced to pay the tax. Also, if they don’t pay at least a certain percentage of their income for the health care, they again will be required to pay the tax.

        For the first few years, the tax is only about $800.00, but after that it raises greatly.

        I am not certain if the percentage I mentioned earlier is in regards to the cost of insurance or the cost of the tax. Either way, those with large income will be proced to pay heavily for their health care.

        I may be exempt from the tax since I have a service connected disability and all of my health care is provided free by the VA, but what if the VA isn’t considered as one of the qualifying plans?

        Rumor has it that the insurance companies were heavily involved in the drafting of the plan and it is hard to believe that they would go along with something that cost them money. Since VA health care is not insurance and the insurance companies don’t get involved in it at all, I am wondering if VA health care even qualifies.

        Politically speaking, since the insurance companies spend so much money for their representatives lobbying congress and spend so much money in campaign contributions, I would suspect that the ‘qualfying’ plans would mostlt represent those companies which are giving so much money to the Dem party.

        The government is already cutting back on the Vets health care insurance and raising not only the cost for vet insurance but also the Co-Pays that the vets are forced to make. I personally have been hit with the increased co-pays and also charged for services that were rendered in the past as non chargable but not chargable. I was hit with several hundred charges for those older previously exempt charges. The VA has also been forced to raise the co-pay amounts just to see one’s primary care provider as well as a $50.00 co-pay to see a specialist.

        There is no doubt that the Dem controlled congress has consistantly been against the military and the vets so I am concerned that Obamacare will destroy the vets health care system forcing them to buy insurance to pay for the health care rather than the federal Government providing it free as a matter of law for those vets with the service connected disabilities.

        • Patrick W.

          If this were the proper forum for this kind of conversation, I would have more to say, for now, move it somewhere else.

          • D.G.Lang

            I simply replied to what was previously posted, I didn’t start a new topic.

            I’m sorry if you are offended. Dan

    • Matt3

      I agree.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      There’s an off topic forum on the Message Boards.  I suggest you pick up the debate there.  The front page is a little too fast moving and Cubs-centric for anything of this nature to do well.  The Message Boards are perfect for it.

      Don’t forget that you need to create a Message Board account separate from your Bleacher Nation account.

    • TWC

      “Sorry about the politics.”

      Yeah, sure you are.  You’re so sorry about the politics that you had to mention it.  Keep it off the front page.

      • Matt3

        I’m sorry you had to make that comment

        • TWC

          I’m not.

          • Sweetjamesjones

            Its a freaking SPORTS website dedicated to the CHICAGO CUBS, a freakin BASEBALL team people!


    • Jim L.

      Funny stuff.

  • djriz

    Remember, also, that Soler hasn’t played competitive baseball for a year so his early results may not be great. I would assume any promotions he gets will be based on scouting reports more than results.

    But can’t wait to see how he starts.

  • Tony

    Go somewhere else with those political views. Cubs and baseball only. Soler looks like a great deal. Not too sure about Puig but I think the time crunch got the best of the Dodgers.

  • Stu

    OK, Cubs talk only.

    Soler looks like a great pickup.

  • donnie kessinger

    A mammoth homer of his bat will be referred to as ” out of the Soler System.” A bloop single will be a “Soler Flare”. I can hardly wait.

    • Professional_High_A

      this comment is the single best thing to happen today.

  • JulioZuleta

    The media will probably prounounce Soler as “solar” like “Solar System”. But really, it’s prounounced SO-lair. So

  • mudge

    Thanks, Julio, will be glad to pronounce it correctly.

  • Mysterious4th

    I think we got a hell of a deal on soler, young with a high upside. I hope to see him make it up to AAA within 3 years. I am now hoping for the signing of our first rounder. have we saved any money on signing other draft picks? Maybe we can sign him for a little more then the slot amount.

  • Kevin

    Why the need to pay over the slot amount? If Boras wants more I suggest he waits another 3 years. The Cubs get the #7 overall pick in next year’s deeper draft if Almora doesn’t sign. There is absolutely no logical reason to pay more. The Cubs will use the money they saved to help sign other players they drafted. Theo & Jed are smart and know exactly what they are doing. Go Cubs!

  • Leroy K.

    Lets go Cubs!!!!