Yankees remain interested in Jorge Soler

2012 Draft: Walker Weickel
Sunday Night Open Thread

Via Dan Martin, the Yankees remain interested in 20-year-old Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler. MLB declared him a free agent recently and the Yankees were said to have “serious interest” back during the offseason. His agent still needs to secure an unblocking license from the Office of Foreign Asset control before he can officially sign, but that’s not considered a major obstacle. Soler will be subject to the new spending restrictions come July 2nd, so expect him to sign for some ungodly amount rather soon.

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2012 Draft: Walker Weickel
Sunday Night Open Thread
  • LiterallyFigurative

    How does Soler compare to Cespedes?

    Cespedes’ athletic ability is off the charts. Still waiting to see how that translates, but interesting nonetheless.

    • Need Pitching

      pretty good scouting report here

      http://baseballprospectnation......-soler-of/

      • http://bloodfarm.tumblr.com mattdamonwayans

        Ah, you beat me to it!

    • YankeeGrunt

      Cespedes is a veteran who excelled in Cuban baseball, 26 years old this season. Soler is 19, with limited experience against Cuba’s baseball elite. Cespedes looked to be ready or near-ready for the majors, and while it hasn’t been all roses so far he certainly looks the part. Soler is nowhere near MLB-ready and will probably need at least two years of minor league ball to get there. His ceiling may be higher, but because he starts out so far from the bigs his floor is presumably lower.

    • http://bloodfarm.tumblr.com mattdamonwayans

      http://baseballprospectnation......-soler-of/

      Most complete scouting report of Soler i’ve seen. In short, plus-plus raw power, rocket arm, classic rightfielder profile, muscular and a good athlete.

  • Ben

    Sounds like Jason Werth IF everything works out.

  • AndrewYF

    Could be a cheap RF replacement that doesn’t even count against the international spending limit. Really feel the Yankees haven’t been able to use their financial clout recently – like when they mistakenly missed out on Chapman.

    • pat

      Aroldis Chapman the reliever?

      • Voice of Reason

        …really?

    • Manny’s BanWagon

      Can’t think of too many reasons not to sign Soler. This is one last chance to use their financial advantages.

      Agree about Chapman too. He’s making what Joba did in 2007 look like child’s play. 85 outs this year, 50Ks and 7 hits is just unreal.

      • steve (different one)

        Until Chapman shows he can hold up as a 200 inning starter, I don’t think it was necessarily a mistake.

        That said, he may ALREADY be able to do that, and it’s just the Reds’ mishandling of him that has him in the bullpen. Or, he may break down b/c starters don’t throw 100+ MPH for 200 innings.

        He is an awesome reliever. No question. But he cost roughly $30M. If he’s not starting, he’s a nice to have, but not critical, luxury.

        • jjyank

          I agree with this view. I would like to have Chapman, but I don’t think you can call it a mistake if he’s a reliever. Even a good reliever. Is it a mistake to not gamble $30 mil on an unknown reliever? I don’t think so.

          Maybe Chapman can start. Maybe he can’t. We don’t really know how Chapman can perform as a starter over a full season at the MLB level. Maybe that’s the Reds’ fault, or maybe they don’t think he can handle it. I have no idea. But it’s not a mistake if he’s a $30 mil reliever, and that’s all we really know him as right now.

          • AndrewYF

            But you’re not gambling on a reliever. You’re gambling on a guy who could be a great starter, but worst case is a fantastic reliever. That’s certainly worth $30M over 5 years.

            Chapman’s making $2M per year until 2014, when he makes…$3M. And then he makes a whole whopping $5M! Sorry, but that’s a fantastic deal for ‘just’ a top-shelf reliever (and that’s a bad case!).

            Yankees made a mistake not ponying up to sign him.

            • jjyank

              What they were gambling on is an unknown. Teams have less of an idea of Cuban prospects than anywhere else, so the gamble is also bigger.

              And we have no idea if Chapman can be a great starter yet, because he hasn’t done that. I will never fault the Yankees for not going after an unknown reliever. And yes, reliever. Until Chapman shows that he can be an MLB starter, I can’t consider it a mistake. That could be more the Reds’ fault than Chapman’s, but the point is we still don’t know if he can be a legitimate starter.

              • Ted Nelson

                I’m not so sure about your stance on Cuban players. They play in international tournaments and Cuba is not hard to get into. I think that teams might know more about the players there than you are letting on.

                I don’t fault the Yankees for not gambling that much on Chapman, but at the same time he was a very attractive prospect. I also wouldn’t have faulted them if they signed him for all that money and he didn’t work out.

                • jjyank

                  I think part of the Cuba thing is identification. Age and names are difficult to verify, regardless of how easy it is to scout them.

                  • Robinson Tilapia

                    Example: I am Cuban, and my name actually isn’t Robinson Tilapia. None of you can verify how old I am.

                    • bpdelia

                      Nice. Seriously though objectively now and at the time chapman was a mistake. Worst case he WAS no doybt going to be an otherwordly late inning power arm. He was young and that 6 million dollar avg gets you a decent late inning reliever. …… that vets you matt freakin capps. I think we can all agree matt capps looked like a FLOOR for chapman. Maybe they didnt feel comfortsble guaranteei.g him that much but it was a mistake and he isnt a starter because the reds are idiots. He is one of the extremely rare talents who could be a dominant two pitch starter. I feel extremely comfortable saying that now his floor is 2006-2009 aj burnett…..for a fraction of the cost

            • Ted Nelson

              I disagree that this was his worst case. He’s arguably the best reliever in baseball this season by a very wide margin.

              Just last season he was a mid-3s ERA/FIP/xFIP reliever who produced 0.6 fWAR in 50 IP. He walked 7.38 per 9… Betances territory. I don’t see how this dominance was a known eventuality even entering this season let alone when he signed. It was his upside out of the pen.

        • Ted Nelson

          Plus the whole hindsight thing. This was the best case scenario as a reliever that is playing out. There’s some scouting involved in projecting him, but there’s also some luck. At the time you didn’t know you were getting a total shut-down reliever. You knew that was his potential if you had him in the pen.

          • bpdelia

            ted there is no doubt THIS was his ceilling out of the pen. This is basically as good as a reiliever can be. Im just saying that 4-5 million dollars a year doesnt get you mucn and even last year he was a decent value. At his salary level he could be a loogy+ facing the occasional sandwhiched righty and sfill pay for himself until next yr when he starts making 7th inning starter money. At no point in this contract does he even make closer or 5 th starter money. Everything is a gamble. Cc sabathia was a gamble. But id say that the odds oc him averaging one WAR per were extremely high. About as good a bet as any and better than most.

            You anx i both defended the soriano signing as not being a disaster considering riveras age. Id now argue that chapman was a better bet than soriano (ps looks like that soriano signing wasnt stupid and unneeded huh? Corey wade closer david phelps setup man anyone?)

      • Ted Nelson

        Really? You can’t think that spending $4+ million per on a prospect is a big risk when you’re trying to cut payroll? An MLB deal is a much bigger deal than if they give him a bonus and standard contract.

        Using their financial advantage means spending wisely, not just throwing money everywhere. Maybe Soler is a good value, maybe not. Unless you’ve seen the kid play at least a few times I’m not sure how you decide that.

        • Manny’s BanWagon

          Every signing and every trade is a “big risk” so that’s news to no one

          “Maybe Soler is a good value, maybe not” is another really profound statement.

          “$4+ million per ” as you put it on a potential power hitting RFer who plays plus defense is a worthwhile gamble considering there is no one like this is the system right now and opportunities to add players like this will be dramatically restricted come July.

  • pat

    I still want him signed no doubt, but he was more attractive during the offseason. He’s basically missed a year of development.

    • jjyank

      I dunno. A kid that young would probably start in Staten Island, and their season hasn’t started yet anyway. I have to imagine he’s been working out and doing baseball activities, even if he’s not playing in a league. And that’s kind like him being in extended spring training before short season ball starts, right?

      • YankeeGrunt

        You’re not spending $6 or $7 mil a year so the kid can go one level at a time. He’s starting in full-season ball, Low A at least, and you’re hoping he’s ready for a cup of coffee at the tail end of next season.

        • jjyank

          He’s 20. I don’t care how much he signs for, the guy shouldn’t be rushed and be in the majors by the time he’s 21 or 22.

          And I never said “one level at a time”. All I said was he probably isn’t missing a season of development because he’s probably only a year older than most of the guys in Staten Island anyway.

          Besides, isn’t it a little aggressive to say Soler has to be in the majors by 2013? Let’s deal with how much time he spends at each level based on how he actually performs.

          • yoo-boo

            yeah.. 1 and an half year in the minor is ideal for him unless he proves he can hit breaking balls or off speed as well as fastball in higher level.

          • Ted Nelson

            I think it’s aggressive to expect it sitting where we are sitting, but just as we don’t know he’s that good we also don’t know he’s not that good. Can only really wait and see unless you can get access to his workouts.

            • jjyank

              Right, that’s exactly what I’m saying.

              To quote myself: “Let’s deal with how much time he spends at each level based on how he actually performs.”

              All I’m saying is that assuming the guy should be in the majors by 2013 based solely on how much money he might make and a few scouting reports on the internet is a little absurd. Could he? Sure. But not many American prospect make it to he majors by age 21 or 22, and teams know a lot more about them at the time of a draft than they know about Soler.

              I don’t think he’s lost a year of development, thus making him less appealing either. He’s pretty much 1 year removed from State Island age, and their season hasn’t started yet. He’s not that far behind.

              • Ted Nelson

                I agree.

                I don’t know how much scouts know about him, though. I think it’s at least as much as most US amateurs, especially preps. He’s played in international tournaments, and Cuba is not that hard to get into… just have to fly through Canada. If they actually gamble as much as the rumors, I have to assume he was on their radars before he defected.

          • YankeeGrunt

            It’s a little aggressive to pay a 19 year old $30 mil or so without his having appeared in so much as an at bat in American professional ball. I’m not saying that his potential demands he be moved at that speed (I haven’t seen the kid play and even if I had I wouldn’t know what to look for), I’m saying you expect a guy making a —-ton of money (and on a major league contract you’re paying luxury tax on that money) and taking up a spot on the 40-man to move faster than the average prep bat.

            • jjyank

              You’d like him to move faster than the average prep bat, sure, but not at the expense of his development. If Soler doesn’t reach the majors by age 21, I don’t care. I just would want him developed properly, even if that takes another year. Nobody can say that he should be in the majors by the end of next season with as little information as we have. Can he do it? Sure, why not? Will he? Nobody knows, so expecting that type of movement doesn’t seem that realistic.

            • Ted Nelson

              There’s a big difference between “faster than the average prep bat” and making MLB your first pro season.

        • yoo-boo

          Big question is which MLB team willingly pays him a ton knowing the new CBA will kick in this week?

          • Ted Nelson

            I think the new CBA makes it less likely it’s the Yankees. They’re the only team trying to get under the $189 million constraint. Another team has less downside in giving him an MLB deal. The Cubs rumors make some sense: big market, little chance of winning immediately.

            • YankeeGrunt

              That’s what I was hinting at. Yes there are some things that make a signing like this attractive to us, but because of the luxury tax, because of the whole $189 thing, it isn’t necessarily the best fit.

              • All Praise Be To Mo

                If it’s not a major league deal, as long as he’s not on the 40 man, does he still count against the 189 cap? I didn’t think so, though I may be mistaken.

        • Ted Nelson

          I read about him on the internet, so I know what level he’ll start at and how fast he’ll progress!

    • Ted Nelson

      It was the offseason, what, 3 months ago? How’d he manage to miss a year in 3 months?

      At worst it’s comparable to a 3 month injury, except that his body wasn’t actually damaged. Plus you can tack AzFL (if he’s as advanced as a lot of people think) and winter league onto the end of the season.

      I would also imagine teams that are scouting him are looking for some improvement since they first saw him. If he hasn’t shown anything new and isn’t in great shape… that’s going to impact his bonus. He has every incentive to be working hard.

      If you were going to invest as heavily in a prospect as it’s going to take to get Soler, is 3 months really a big deal?

  • Robinson Tilapia

    You continue to give the kid a look. I guess you go above what any other kid in his situation would get, but not too much more. Let someone else pay through the nose for someone who still would have to go through Single-A.

    • Ted Nelson

      I agreed with your comment yesterday about people reading about him on the internet and jumping to conclusions.

      You seem to be falling into that trap here. Without scouting him it’s pretty hard to say where he’d start. Age and nationality have a pretty loose correlation with baseball skill.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Oh absolutely. I’m going just as much from what I read from this site as anyone else is. I haven’t done a bit of outside research on the kid.

  • yoo-boo

    The scouting report sounds like Soler is another Alfonzo Soriano at plate with superb defense at RF. It can’t go any wrong with it.

    Tyler Austin can be our Matt Holliday at LF with Soler at RF in 3 or 4 years. I can’t wait.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

      I guess it’s okay to dream, but as much as I’ve loved what I’ve heard about Austin (and Mason Williams) and Soler, there’s a chance none of them make it to the show.

      • yoo-boo

        If you don’t believe in Yankees’ said goal about budget for 2014.

        I think those OFers play altogether is possible unless Yanks miraculously make trades for either Harper, Upton or will be aging Werth in 14-16.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          The Yankees setting a budget and these guys succesfully getting through the minor league system are two different things. They could have a budget AND have these guys top out at AA.

    • Bunt Gardner

      “It can’t go any wrong with it.”

      Except it can. If by chance to get Soler you have to sign him to a MLB contract worth, for the sake of argument, $30M/5 yrs, and he ends up tanking in the minors or a AAAA guy, you’ve lost $6M/yr off your $189M budget.

      Granted, it could turn out positive, but that’s just it…a pig in a poke.

  • tony

    what are the chances we get him? is it realistic to think the yanks will shell out the cash for a teenager?