Buster Olney reports that the first round of bidding on Cuban free agent Jorge Soler are in — his agent wanted bids by yesterday — and that the Cubs, Yankees, Braves and Dodgers have been the most aggressive.
The Cubs are not surprising given that they’ve been whispered about having strong interest in Soler and, in some cases, have been whispered about already having a handshake deal with the guy, though the Cubs vehemently denied it. There’s talk that the Red Sox, Pirates, Orioles, Phillies, and White Sox are in on him too.
Soler has to sign a deal by July 2 or else he comes under the purview of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement’s limitation on international signings. Assuming he does that he could be looking at a $25 million deal.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.