Gammons: Yankees bid $25-30M for Jorge Soler

Via Peter Gammons, the Yankees bid $25-30M for 20-year-old Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler. The Braves and White Sox also made similar offers, though Soler wound up signing a nine-year, $30M contract with the Cubs early last week.

I always underestimate free agent contracts but even $25M for what amounts to a Single-A prospect seems rather … excessive. It is just money, but we’re not talking about a player capable of stepping right in to help the big league club. The Yankees clearly liked Soler and made an aggressive bid, but as we heard the day he signed, Chicago was prepared to one-up any offer to make sure they got him.

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Update: Cubs to sign Jorge Soler for nine years, $30M

2:40pm: Jon Heyman says Soler signed a nine-year contract worth right around $30M. Good grief. Heyman also says three or four teams were over $20M, though it’s unclear if the Yankees were one of them.

2:17pm: Via Joel Sherman and Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs won the bidding for free agent outfielder Jorge Soler. The Yankees tried to sign him, but Chicago won out. No word on the contract terms yet, but I’m very curious to see what they are. As I said yesterday, $15-20M for a 20-year-old prospect is a ton of money and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees backed away at a certain point.

For what it’s worth, Kevin Goldstein says the Cubs had a “choke point” on Soler and would one-up every bid until they landed him. Yesterday Goldstein described the Cuban outfielder as “a RF profile guy. BIG power, big arm, ok fielder, holes in swing. He’s not historic and he’s seen as ready for Low-A.”

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

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.

Olney: Yanks among teams most aggressively pursuing Jorge Soler

Via Buster Olney, the Yankees are one of the four teams most aggressively pursuing 20-year-old Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler. The Cubs, Dodgers, and Braves are also in the mix. The first round of bids were due this past Thursday and the second round is due this weekend. This isn’t a posting process similar to Japanese players, it’s just a straight submission of contract offers and counteroffers.

Soler was finally declared a free agent last week, but the Yankees had been connected to him long before that. The outfielder had been trying to establish residency in Haiti (not the Dominican Republic, where he lives now) according to Ben Badler, a red flag because of the country’s shoddy record keeping. Jerry Crasnick says MLB verified Soler’s residency before declaring him a free agent though, so it’s a non-issue. Soler has three weeks and two days to sign a contract before becoming subject to the spending restrictions implemented by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Yankees remain interested in Jorge Soler

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.

Report: Jorge Soler finally declared a free agent

Via Ken Rosenthal, 20-year-old Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler has been declared a free agent and is free to sign with any team. He can sign for any amount until the spending restrictions implemented by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement take effect on July 2nd, so expect him to sign sometime this month.

The Yankees were said to have “serious interest” in Soler earlier this season, but obviously they’re not the only club in the hunt. Bidding could approach $20M across four or five years on a big league contract. I’m a fan based on the little we know and it would be great to see the Yankees add a young player of this caliber to the organization. Either way, expect to here a whole lot about Soler over the next few weeks.

Olney: Yankees have “serious interest” in Jorge Soler

Via Buster Olney, the Yankees have “serious interest” in 19-year-old Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler. A number of other clubs are in on Soler as well, and reports circulated earlier today that he had agreed to sign with the Cubs for something like $27.5M. Olney confirms that those reports are untrue. It’s worth mentioning that Solar hasn’t been declared a free agent by MLB yet, so it would be illegal for him to have agreed to a deal already. As in a violation federal regulations illegal.

You can read Soler’s scouting report in the final question of this mailbag from two weeks ago. As I’ve said in the past, I prefer Soler to Yoenis Cespedes based on the little we know just because he’s so much younger and can have a more traditional development path rather than be expected to produce at the big league level immediately. Cespedes got $36M across four years from the Athletics, but I really have no idea what it’ll take to sign Soler. That $27.5M talk is scary; we’re talking about a kid several years away from the show.