With Hope For Yoenis Cespedes Fading, Cubs Going Hard After Jorge Soler

By Randy Holt

There’s been a great deal of Cuban talent making the jump to the Major Leagues this winter, and the Cubs have been in on nearly every one, particularly the three biggest.

Already having signed Gerardo Concepcion, the Cubs were expected to be in the mix for both Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler. And by all accounts, they were.

But the chances of the Cubs signing Cespedes, the biggest prize of the three, are getting very slim, as he appears more and more likely to be headed for Miami by the hour.

Though the Cubs likely could have easily topped the supposed six years and less than $40 million that the Marlins are reported to have offered Cespedes, they likely don’t feel like they can compete with his desire to be in Miami, and have all but dropped out of the running for him.

Enter Jorge Soler. At 19,  he’s much younger than Cespedes and will come much cheaper. Some have also speculated that he’s a much better fit for what the Cubs are doing, which makes perfect sense given the rebuilding mode.

Though, like Concepcion, Soler isn’t very close to being MLB ready, he’d be a great signing and a fun one to watch develop. He’s a tall, lanky guy, to the tune of 6’3″ and 180 pounds, who still has plenty of growing and developing to do.

He’s listed as a centerfielder right now, but, like Cespedes, projects to end up in one of the corners eventually. He’s got a strong arm and a strong bat, with his lack of contact and patience being some of the focal points of where he’ll need to improve once he does join an organization.

Right now, the biggest hangup with a potential Soler deal, along with waiting for Cespedes to sign in Miami, is the paperwork. Like Cespedes, Soler still has work to do as far as his residency and clearance to the United States goes. Once that gets taken care of, it’s only a matter of time before he signs with a club.

And if the Cubs are really set on signing Soler, I’d expect them to be his landing spot. The Cubs’ front office has been very high on these players, and they are willing to spend a healthy chunk of change in order to make sure they land at least one of the two big Cuban outfielders.

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