Cubs In Talks With Another Cuban Outfielder
June 15, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein before the game against the Boston Red Sox at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE
First there was Yoenis Cespedes, who signed with the Oakland Athletics. Then there was Jorge Soler, who after a off-season’s worth of rumors eventually signed with the Chicago Cubs.
Now, there is Yasel Puig.
Puig is a Cuban outfielder that has already established residency in Mexico and no other hurdles exist that refrain Puig from signing with a Major League baseball. In terms of skill-set, Puig is more polished than Soler due to the fact that the Cubs recent international signee has spent significantly less time in organized baseball. However, Soler is believed to have a much higher ceiling than that of Puig.
In 2011, Puig hit .33o to go along with 18 home runs with the Cienfuegos Elephants as part of the 20-11 Serie Nacional.
Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribube reports that the Cubs are among the teams that have been in discussion with Jaime Torres, who is the agent for Puig. Rogers reports that Torres would be silly not include the Cubs in wake of the Cubs shelling out $27 million to Soler.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Cubs have probably had discussions with Torres regarding Puig. In fact, those discussions may have even occured over the past week. Reason being Torres wants Puig to sign before July 2, which is when the new collective bargaining agreement becomes into effect and new limitations on international free agency are placed. Rogers suggests that since the Cubs gave Soler $27 million, they may willing to open the checkbook once more for Puig.
I do not see that happening. Even though the $27 million is spread out over nine years, there is no hiding the fact that there is going to be at least $27 million that will be paid Soler. Assuming all the scouting reports are true, Soler is the type of player that is going to deserve the $27 million if not more that the Cubs will be paying over the next nine years. Puig is not believed to be as talented as Soler. When you look at the fact that the Cubs long-term picture for the outfield already includes Brett Jackson, Abert Almora and Soler, the Cubs are quickly running out of room in their outfield. Now, that shouldn’t prevent them from adding talent. But at this point, Puig is talent that the Cubs do not need. This is reason why Theo Epstein and company probably will not go out of their way to sign the Cuban outfielder.