Jun
10

Update: Jorge Soler expected to agree to a contract “before tomorrow”

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6:17pm: Joel Sherman confirms that the Yankees are “in deep” for Soler and have been told — along with other interested teams — that their best bid must be submitted today. A decision is likely to be made tomorrow.

10:54am: For what it’s worth, Peter Gammons says interested clubs believe this will drag out beyond tomorrow unless the Yankees decide to blow everyone else out of the water.

10:00am: Via George King and Mike Puma, free agent outfielder Jorge Soler is expected to agree to terms on a four-year contract sometime “before tomorrow.” The 20-year-old Cuban defector was officially declared a free agent earlier this month, and yesterday we heard that the Yankees were one of the clubs most aggressively pursuing him.

Soler will be subject to the spending restrictions implemented by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement come July 2nd, so it’s not a surprise to see him and his agent try to wrap up a contract as soon as possible. I’m very curious to see the size of the deal; a four-year pact probably means something like $15-20M. That’s a ton of money for a prospect — Soler’s not a finished product who can jump right into the bigs — and it really wouldn’t surprise me if the Yankees walked away. Then again it is just money though, and they have lots of it.

  • Travis L.

    Hey Mike…would you be against spending big to land Soler and possibly other international free agents, just to get the prospect depth before the July 2 deadline??

  • kenthadley

    The Yanks have lots of money, but it is spent differently under the Steinbrothers. They spend enough to keep the boo birds off their backs, but nothing like under the old man. These guys want to win, but they don’t need to win to look in the mirror. When George looked in the mirror, he saw the won-lost record. I’d be surprised if they win this one.

    • Ted Nelson

      It’s a different market. Psychological evaluations of people we don’t know’s public personas aside, when George was setting IFA records they were a few million for teenagers and a few tens of millions for vets. Not tens for teenagers and over a hundred for vets. Maybe George would still be leading the charge despite that HUGE inflation, but he might also realize that the value isn’t always there anymore. Or he might spend them right out of contention… Which he tended to do.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      So, if they don’t spend MLB money to sign an international prospect you only really know about through this site, they don’t want to win enough as their father did?

      They did a ton of winning when George was making those championship caliber acquisitions like the Niekro brothers and Rick Rhoden in the 80′s.

      Some people will never be happy with this franchise.

    • Steve (different one)

      It’s apples and oranges. The teams that are signing these players away from the Yankees? They are doing it with the Yankees’ money. King George had no revenue sharing, luxury taxes, draft pool limits, IFA limits, etc. in the 80′s….

    • RI$P FTW

      Their father was a damn fool, buying tons of ‘rioded-up, un-clutch, swing-for-the-fences hacks and old pitchers who were good 3 years earlier.

      • OldYanksFan

        EXACTLY!
        Furthermore, in the earlier days of FA, few teams could spend big money, so guys like Giambi, once they went on the market, if the Yankees wanted him, it was 90% a done deal as soon as he declared.

        Now, many teams are spending big bucks. Even KC spend some big dollars, not to mention Zito, A.Soriano, Puljos, Fieldsr, Miggy, and many, many other big buck contracts that went to other teams.

        Furthermore, the Yankees already own a number of expensive, long term contracts, So it’s not just the money, but lineup and payroll flexibility.

        FURTHERMORE, almost all ‘premiere’ FAs are really getting overpaid, especially in terms of years. For these FAs, it’s a sellers market, and these contracts all carry some serious risk, as you are almost always buying latter years at the cost of past, prime production years.

        FURTHERMORE it’s not like the Yankees don’t already have the highest payroll by close to 20%. Is it crazy for the Yankees to want to Win without having to drown the market ib cash? Would it really be fun to watch this team spend $300m and just buy every primetime player?

        The Yankees are simply trying to be smart (something George wasn’t) and spend their money wisely. I personally applaud this approach.

        This being said, even considering a $189m payroll, the average Yankee costs $7m+/yr. So taking a chance on Soler, if it’s an AAV of $5 or so, seems like a decent risk, considering our OF situation.

      • Manny’s BanWagon

        Their father was owner of a team that won 7 world series in less then 40 years of ownership and transformed a team that he bought for a few million dollars into a multi-billion dollar empire.

        He may have done a lot of things wrong in his haste to bring a winner to NY but he was 100% committed to winning, more so than any other owner in any sport probably in history.

        To call him a “damn fool” is completely ignorant.

        • Steve (different one)

          And you could argue that 4 of those championships don’t happen unless George is suspended from baseball while they built those teams without him.

  • Chris

    With the lack of OF depth the yankees have, I hope they at least make a competitive offer.

    • Steve (different one)

      Seems like their offer is already competitive, based on reports that they made it to the “final four”. Doesn’t mean they will get him, because frankly, the Cubs and Astros are more desperate for his services, but they are being aggressively at least.

      Just as an aside, Darvish really hasn’t been that great his second time through the league. Too early to draw conclusions, but it is a lesson in keeping the hype in check. Based on the hype, he shouldn’t be getting lit up by the Oakland A’s.

    • Ted Nelson

      Depends how developed they think he is and I don’t really think that should enter into their decision making on his value anyway, but I wouldn’t say they lack unproven 20 year old OF depth at all. I’d really call it a strength. Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, Santana, Gamel, Cave, Heathcott, Justin James, Segadin, several 2012 picks including a 2nd rounder… Gumbs, Bird, Bichette, Murphy, and maybe even Sanchez could all end up in the OF if need be.

      I also wouldn’t call MLB OF depth a real weakness. What do most teams have if a good starter goes down? Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez? Most don’t even have that. Wise and Dickerson are solid AAAA guys. Mustelier may be that or more. Zoilo may be a year or so away from being an ok option. Not many teams are just overflowing with MLB studs on their bench and in the minors.

      In terms of Soler: I don’t think covering up a perceived weakness or rushing before the IFA deadline means it makes sense to make a bad deal for him. I think that they should value him based on his talent and projected impact going forward.

  • Opus

    What MiL level would he be sent to?

    • Bo Knows

      my money is on High A when he signs with anyone, closest level (equivalence) to the Cuban League and if he plays well he can advance quickly

  • dean

    Unless there is a free agency clause youre acually getting 10 years of control though on a 4 year deal…so that basically covers all of his 20′s. If he pans out then thats a steal and seems like a good risk to me with the rule change coming.

    • Steve (different one)

      Not sure I understand, you get 6 years of control. How do you get to 10? Are you counting his minor league time?

    • pat

      It’s not 4 on top of the 6 years. It’s 4 years at a set price then he’ll be arbitration eligible for the last two.

      • Jerkface

        They can option him to the minors for 4 seasons, and then have him at the league minimum for 3 years+arbitration for 3 years.

        Their years of control for Soler is between 6-10 years depending on how long he stays in the minors. Assuming no team is dumb enough to give him a FA clause.

        • Need Pitching

          true on the years of control, though I don’t imagine they’ll pay the prices being speculated with the expecation of him needing 4 option years

          It appears they would not be able to pay 3 years at league minimum, though. I believe teams are prohibited by the CBA from tendering/renewing a contract to a player under reserve with more than a 20% pay cut.

  • Neo

    How does a contract for Soler get counted in salary cap calculations?

    • blake

      If its a major league deal then his salary is luxury taxed and thats an issue…..if they sign him to a big league deal then they need ro believe he will move fast

  • bill

    They dont want to play with the big boys

  • Pat D

    I’m really of the opinion that this is their last time to just spend what they want in this capacity, and they should just go ahead and do it.

    Totally irresponsible, perhaps, but I think it can be justified in this case.

    • Paul VuvuZuvella

      +1

    • Ted Nelson

      If it’s an MLB deal, it’s really not though.

      • Pat D

        Not what? Not irresponsible?

        • Ted Nelson

          Not their last time to spend money.

  • crawdaddie

    The Yankees are getting outbid by every team since 2009.

    • Dennis

      not for Igawa. we went all in for him.

      • Steve (different one)

        Which was in 2006. Good try though.

        • Dennis

          Sarcasm detector fail. I was being too serious for u. I should lower my expectations of your IQ.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      ….and who’s won more championships since then?

    • FachoinaNYY

      This is just patently false. We had the biggest bid for Cliff Lee (and he chose the Phillies due to age concerns – looking like a great call) and we also outbid EVERYONE on Soriano. So don’t say we have been outbid, the Yankees have consciously been careful on FAs since the giant spending spree before 09, which is a big difference.

      • sangreal

        The Phillies had the biggest bid for Cliff Lee. It’s a myth that the Yankees offered him more and he didn’t care about the money.

        On the other hand, they did outbid everyone for Jeter.

        • Steve (different one)

          This isn’t complicated: Yankees offered more years and more total dollars. Phils offered higher AAV.

      • JU

        Was not getting lee really a good call? Aside from minimizing the reward of having lee, u fail to realize the other dominos that would/wouldn’t have fell. Just off the top of my head – would u rather have cliff lee and jesus montero or Michael Pineda?

        • Steve (different one)

          I think he was saying Lee made a bad call choosing the phillies.

          • JU

            My mistake…I think u r right

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I feel the same way as I did about Darvish. In all honesty, I didn’t give a rat’s ass whether they acquired him or not, but hearing the person’s name over and over on here somehow gets me to the point of just wanting to get him for the sake of winning the battle. Then, when they don’t, I’ll go back to not giving a rat’s ass.

    Like Ted said, there’s guys in the system already who can be transitioned into the outfield. They just drafted several high-upside kids in the later rounds which signing one or two of would be wonderful. Make this guy an offer that matches what you think he’s worth. I doubt he’s worth the numbers being thrown up above.

    • RI$P FTW

      This guy is edgy.

  • BK2ATL

    Here’s to hoping that we sweep the Mets today, then it’s announced “The New York Yankees agree to a 4 yr, $18.5 million deal with Cuban OF Jorge Soler.”

  • http://www.retire21.org/ first name only male – Retire 21

    If he wants a 4 year deal let him sign elsewhere. The Yankees can sign him when he’s a proven free agent at 24.

    • Tim Davis

      He could always re-up with the team that originally signed him.

      • http://www.retire21.org/ first name only male – Retire 21

        I get the impression that anyone who asks for a shorter term deal (ie Darvish, Cespedes) is looking to test the free agent market.

        • yoo-boo

          6 years for Darvish.

          • http://www.retire21.org/ first name only male – Retire 21

            My mistake. I thought Yu’s deal was 5 + a player option. It is 5 + a club option.

            • yoo-boo

              6 year and the final year is depending on first 5 years performance for vesting option clause (player’s).

              Cot’s contract lays out better than my explanation.

    • yoo-boo

      Full free agent for Soler after this 4 year contract? I am not certain about it.

    • RetroRob

      Is it a four-year MLB deal, or is it basically a signing bonus spread out over four years?

      • http://www.retire21.org/ first name only male – Retire 21

        My interpretation is 4 year MLB deal. If it is the latter, I am all for that.

        • yoo-boo

          If it is a MLB deal then he has to be on 40 man roster and gets paid as a MLB player. I am not sure about his eligibility for arb seasons or whether because he wont go straight to MLB level right away like Darvish and Cespedes.

          No minor option means no arb season possibility for IFA with MLB deal I believe.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        I’m sure it’s a four-year MLB deal. He would still need six years of service time to become a free agent, unless they put some kind of early FA language in the deal (doubt it).

  • yoo-boo

    Congratulation in advance for Cubs.

  • Kosmo

    ultimately it´s Soler´s decision where he wants to play. For example would he rather play for the Yanks or the Cubs and would he take slightly less money to play for NY ? Soler has been more hyped than Cespedes and he´s 5-6 years younger. The money doesn´t bother me in the least seeing that its not mine. I hope NY signs him.

  • Kevin G.

    It’s not my money so blow everybody out of the water

    • Dennis

      They only spend money if a player will be a Yankee into his late 30′s.

      • Kevin G.

        Than sign him to a 17 year contract

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Bingo.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    Seeing as how it’s only money, I can’t say it would be crazy to sign Soler.

    But he’s not MLB-ready. If anything he’d start out in Single A and have to climb the ladder. Therefore he becomes a bigger risk than a Cespedes or Contreras or Chapman. His age and upside are definite positives though.

    To me, it all depends on how quickly Soler can move through the system. The Yanks have a natural landing spot in the outfield due to the pending Free Agency of Swisher and Granderson, and are a few years from Mason/Austin being ready. But can Soler move up much faster than Mason and Tyler Austin?

    • Bo Knows

      CUban league is close in level to High A, I bet if he signed he’d go to Tampa for the rest of the year. If he hits well, he’ll be in Trenton with a possible promotion to Scranton or maybe even the bigs (only if he straight up demolishes AA of course)

      • Ted Nelson

        Do you have any stats for him in Cuban League? The talent is not uniform there, just like it’s not in any league in any sport in any country.

        Any prospect will move up if he demolishes the competition at one level for a sustained period… that’s sort of how it works. You seem to be very aggressive with Soler. How much do you know about the guy? How many times have you seen him?

  • mike

    do you think that the fact that he could be ready for 2014 and help the Yankees meet the 189m goal actually make him more valuable to the Yankees then other teams?

    • Need Pitching

      there’s also the possibility he won’t be ready for 2014, but would still be taking up space under the luxury tax threshold, making him less valuable to the Yankees than other teams

      • Bo Knows

        Its entirely possible for him too be able to, he did play in the same league as Cespedes, is also seen as being capable of being a greater player than Cespedes.

        Though he might still need to work on his box jumping abilities

        • Need Pitching

          definitely possible, but he has much less experience in that league than Cespedes, and the scouting reports I’ve seen indicate he’s likely to start in A ball and need at least 2-3 years of MiLB

        • Ted Nelson

          Not sure what the league he played in by itself has to do with his prospects…

    • Fin

      Find a scouting report that says he can be ready for 2014. Everything I have read says at least 3 years. His time table has been pushed up by fans as his hpye increases. I dont really care what the Yankees do, as I have no idea what type of player this guy is, nor does anyone else on this sight. The only thing that concerns me is that singing him to a mlb deal means that it will effectively take away 4-6m a year from the Yankees while he plays minor league baseball. Thats no big deal unless the Yankees are serious about $189. If they are serious about that figure the Yankees would have to disagree with the scouting reports I have seen and think he will be ready in a year or so. Do to his cost against the luxury tax, the Yankees trying to shrink payroll (cant afford 4-6m that isnt even playing for the yankess), and the risk he never even makes the Yankees, I very seriously doubt they end up with him.

      • Ted Nelson

        I agree $189 mill is probably more of a risk and a negative… but they can definitely afford $4-6 mill if they want to. And if they think he has huge MLB potential for 2015… could be worth sucking it up for 2014. There’s a lot of room under the $189 million… it’s just a matter of how they want to use it.

  • Gonzo

    This is going to be interesting.

  • http://bloodfarm.tumblr.com mattdamonwayans

    The Yankees must really be interested, they usually announce that they are out of the bidding by now.

  • In Mason We Trust

    Could this be the Montero “fill-in” that we need? After all, we did miss his potential of what he could’ve done for us. Perhaps Soler, even though unpolished, could be a future Montero for the Yankees in 2013 and 2014.

    • Havok9120

      Err….wut?

    • Deep Thoughts

      More like the Slade Heathcott fill-in.