Jorge Soler expected to sign with the Cubs

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When it comes to Cuban free agents, everyone’s attention has been on Yoenis Cespedes.  But, as the man said, there is another. His name is Jorge Soler.  He’s and outfielder who profiles as a corner guy, long term. He has the same sorts of tools as Cespedes. He’s much younger too: 19.

And according to Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune, he’s going to be a Chicago Cub:

The Cubs are expected to add 19-year-old outfielder Jorge Soler after acquiring 19-year-old pitcher Gerardo Concepcion, according to multiple reports from the Dominican Republic, where Soler is staying … Soler, according to one report, will be making $27.5 million with the Cubs for three or four years.

He’s raw, so he’s probably a couple of years away, but that’s fine given where the Cubs are at the moment: building.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.