The Cubs have landed Jorge Soler


Joel Sherman of the New York Post is reporting that the Cubs have signed Cuban defector Jorge Soler:

Ken Rosenthal confirms. Jon Heyman reports that the deal is for nine years and $30 million. Rosenthal notes that Soler can opt out of the financial provisions of the deal after he becomes arbitration eligible, though he will still be subject to team control. It’s just that his salary would be determined by arbitration.

This wouldn’t be the biggest surprise ever. There were rumors going back months that they already had a handshake deal with Soler’s people, though it was strongly denied at the time.

More to the point: Soler represents a great way — maybe the last best way — for a Cubs team badly in need of rebuilding to get a premium international free agent or amateur talent without being subject to the new bonus limits of the new CBA.

Soler turned 20 in February. He’s an outfielder and, though he’s considered raw, he is said to have serious power potential. Size-wise, he is supposed to be only a little smaller than the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton, who is 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds. He has, however, been inactive for around a year thanks to the defection drama, so he’s not going to be in Chicago any time soon.

Big signing for the Cubs.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.