Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein along with general manager Jed Hoyer have spent most of their work in the off-season and the first half of the season scouting for the draft, and courting international free agents. The Cubs landed pitcher Geraldo Concepcion, the team missed out on outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Even though the Cubs had Cespedes high on their list of targets, the belief has always been that the team had stronger interest in fellow Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler.
The Cubs have visited the Dominican Republic numerous times this past off-season in what was believed to have been trips to have direct communication with Soler and his representatives. Though the Cubs at the time of their trips were unable to get too serious in discussions due to the fact that Soler was not recognized as a free agent of Major League Baseball.
Soler has since been declared a free agent of Major League Baseball and has also established residency in Haiti. Meaning no longer do any hurdles exist that refrain Soler from signing with a Major League team. A signing of which appears to be imminent.
Reports coming out on Sunday suggest that Soler will sign a four year deal with a team by Monday. An industry source told the New York Post that a deal between Soler and a Major League team should be agreed upon by Monday. This would seem to fall in place with the timeline that Soler’s representatives have created. Soler’s camp told teams to submit their initial offers on Thursday, and the requested for those teams with serious interest in the Cuban outfielder to submit their second and final bid over the weekend.
The New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago Cubs are believed to be the most aggressive teams in the Soler sweepstakes. With news that a Soler signing appears to be closer, many reporters have taken to twitter to suggest that Epstein is not going to allow the Cubs to lose out on Soler. Earlier this week, Hoyer confirmed the Cubs interest in Soler by saying the team has spent time scouting the Cuban outfielder.
The four year deal falls in line with the deal that Soler has always been expected to receive. The common projection for Soler was that he would receive a four year deal worth $20 million to $35 million. Though it appears that the actual figure will be closer to $20 million. Soler’s deal figures to be last significant international signing of previous collective bargaining agreement before new restrictions are placed on international signings come July 2 when the new CBA rules are put in place.