With all the press and stories about Cespedes, the Cubs apparently have been doing their homework on 19 year old Cuban Jorge Soler, and appear ready to strike. It seems as though the Cubs have realized that a continued pursuit of Cespedes is pointless given the Marlins offer to him, and Cespedes’ desire to play in Miami. Soler is not a free agent as of yet, he has to go through the same process that Cespedes had to go through to become a major league free agent. Once that does happen, it is being reported that the Cubs are going to be very aggressive to sign the 19 year old.
If you think about it, this deal makes a ton more sense for the Cubs and Hoyer at this point. Soler is 7 years younger than Cespedes, which means while he might be a couple years away from making an impact at the Major League level, but he will come at a cheaper price. The Cubs timeline, as talked about by Hoyer last week, would put the Cubs on the cusp of being a contender when Soler is ready to make his debut, a couple years down the road. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus was the one to first break news of the Cubs major interest in Soler on Twitter, he also provided a tremendous scouting report of the young Soler.
“He has some paperwork issues just like Cespedes does,” Goldstein said. “He profiles as a very classic right-field profile on a scouting level. He’s a big,
athletic kid. He ran well for scouts. He ran a 6.7 60 for them the other week, which is above average. At his age and his size, that’s not going to last. He just doesn’t look like a guy that’s going to stay fast.
“What he’s going to be is a right fielder who’s gonna hit for power. He’s gonna throw well, hit home runs. That’s going to be his job. Big, big kid. Broad shoulders, tons of raw power. He’s a very exciting player…I think it’s important — and same with Concepcion — to talk about how they are different from Cespedes.
“I think for Soler, his most logical assignment, based on his youth experience and talent, would be Low-A ball…[Soler and Concepcion] are not guys who are going to help you this year. These are not guys who are going to help you in 2013 and probably not 2014. These are long-term players. These are guys who you hope can turn into impact players, but they’re not even close to that yet.”
Here is Jason McLeod’s take on Soler..
“He’s a younger version of Cespedes,” McLeod said. “He’s a 19-year-old with a bigger body. A guy who probably will be more of a corner outfielder. It’s more of a limited history with Soler as not as many people have seen him play. We did see him play a few games in November.”
I would love for the Cubs to be able to sign Soler instead of Cespedes, it allows the Cubs to get Soler into THEIR system, bring him thru that system the way they want to. Cespedes, already 26, probably won’t have much more development than what you already see, Soler on the other hand could be molded into what the Cubs want him to be. Now, that’s not saying that I want the Cubs to change the way he plays, I don’t, but if you have the opportunity to get a 19 year old kid into your organization you take the chance because you can develop him the way you want. Very exciting news, obviously nothing has happened, but it sounds like once it is allowed to happen the Cubs will be first in line.
Stay tuned, thanks for reading!
– George Cotugno