6/30 Cubs to finalize Soler deal
The Cubs have finalized their deal with Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, who reportedly agreed to a nine-year, $30 million contract with the team earlier this month. GM Jed Hoyer was to meet with the media later today to announce the deal. Soler, 20, a right-handed hitter with power, is considered the next big Cuban prospect on the scene after outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who signed with the Athletics for $36 million over four years. Soler had to sign with a Major League club before Tuesday’s deadline or be subjected to new Basic Agreement guidelines, which will limit spending on international prospects to $2.9 million per team without penalty. Cubs manager Dale Sveum has watched Soler on video, and likes what he has seen. “He’s pretty strong,” Sveum said. “On video, he looks pretty impressive.” Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, and Hoyer did watch Soler work out in the Dominican Republic in the offseason. Soler defected from Cuba last year.
“The body type and everything like that is like Glenn Braggs,” Sveum said of his former Brewers teammate. “You see [Soler’s] body and the size and strength, that kind of strength at a young age is pretty impressive. Hopefully it all translates into a huge productive player at this level.”
— Carrie Muskat