Dec 30, 2008; A general view of the main entrance of Wrigley Field. The Chicago Blackhawks will host the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field on New Years Day in the Winter Classic. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Cubs May Have A Deal With Jorge Soler

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Coming on the heels of Yoennis Cespedes surprisingly choosing to sign with Oakland, the Chicago Cubs may be about to land Jorge Soler. The Cubs have been known to be interested for months now, but over the past day or two the conversation has changed. The Cubs are thought to have stepped up their efforts to sign Soler. Late Monday night, Kevin Goldstein stated on Twitter that he believed the deal was finished and that the Cubs would be signing Soler for about $28 million over four years. So long as the Cubs can maintain all six years of control like they did in the Concepcion deal, a contract along those lines would be a very good thing for the Cubs. They would be turning something they have (money) into something they don’t (a high ceiling power hitting prospect). That is the definition of a successful deal.

Data on Soler remains scarce at the moment. Other than professional scouts, few baseball analysts have seen him play. The consensus is that Soler will instantly be the best prospect in the Cubs system, edging out Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo by a respectable margin. He will rank with Dan Vogelbach as one of the best power hitting prospects in the system, if not in all of baseball. He is expected to start his professional career in A-ball, likely Peoria or Daytona. I would not be surprised if he stays in extended spring training for a time before he is placed in a full-season league. Players just coming to the United States typically need an adjustment period, and there is no point in rushing a high ceiling, multi-million dollar nineteen year old prospect.

Soler fills a gap in the Cubs farm system that has been plaguing the team for some time. The Cubs’ simply lack power hitting corner outfielders. Brett Jackson comes the closest to fitting that description, but he does not have anything close to the power Soler promises. It will be at least two or three years before Soler would reach the major leagues, but when he does expect to see a middle of the order bat that could anchor the Cubs lineup for a very long time.

No deal can become official until Soler has establish residency, been declared a free agent, and received necessary clearance from the U.S. State Department to sign the contract. In short, it is not quite over yet. But as things stand now, the Cubs have signed two of the three biggest prizes in the Latin American free agent market and significantly strengthened their farm system in the process. Jorge Soler is expected to rank among the Top 100 prospects in all baseball, giving the Cubs four names on that list. That is a very good sign for a team building towards a future of sustained success.

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Tags: Chicago Cubs Jorge Soler Minor Leagues Top Prospects

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