As pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training this coming Sunday, technically the off-season hot stove is still in session.
And the latest player rumored to be on the Yankees radar is a 19-year old, Cuban outfielder named Jorge Soler.
Now, if you are like me you might be wondering who is this Jorge Soler?
Soler is the other highly talented Cuban player who got overshadowed this off-season by fellow countryman Yoenis Cespedes.
Cespedes is five years older than Soler, and is considered more Major League ready because of it.
Now that Cespedes has signed a four-year, $36 million deal with the Oakland Athletics; the focus has started shifting to Soler and what he can bring to a team.
Soler make-up is of a five-tool player, but whether he will actually become the next Justin Upton is a whole different story.
The one advantage Soler has is time. At 19, Soler will have ample time to work his way up in the minor leagues, which is a luxury of added experience Cespedes will not be getting.
See back in Cuba, the best pitching a hitter will face is considered on the same playing field as that of an MILB Single A-team.
That is why transitioning from Cuban baseball to the Majors has posed problems for players in the past, due to lack of pitch recognition and overall contact.
Soler is a superb outfielder defensively, and a speedster on the bases, which is why it is rumored that he has many suitors.
I believe that teams contemplate the ample time enough to fix Soler’s bat and hopefully bring it up to speed with the rest of his game, or at least have him hitting for average.
Yesterday, it was reported that the Chicago Cubs had signed the highly touted Soler to a four-year, $27.5 million deal. That news got spoiled fast as CSN Chicago’s David Kaplan reported that no such deal was in place but that the Cubs were still in the hunt.
Later on, ESPN’s Buster Onley tweeted that the Cubs deal was over-hyped, was never was in place and that the Yankees were looking like the frontrunners to nab Soler.
Logically, this prospect seems too huge to pass up just based solely on his what ifs so expect heavy competition coming from all sides.
I was a little shocked that the Yankees, who are crying poor, would be willing to gamble $30 million based on a player’s TBD skills.
And yes, GM Brian Cashman can keep Soler’s salary off the big team’s payroll for 2012, which is sounds appealing but what happens if the kid is ready to be promoted by 2013?
- Jorge Soler News, Rumors: Yankees ‘Have Serious Interest’ (newyork.sbnation.com)
- The Yankees may get in on the Jorge Soler action (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Should The New York Yankees Trade From Their Pitching Depth? (pinstripealley.com)
- MLB Free Agency: The New York Yankees Should Sign Jorge Soler (bleacherreport.com)
- Jorge Soler expected to sign with the Cubs (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Pushing for Jorge Soler (pinstripealley.com)
- Phillies Interested In Jorge Soler (mlbtraderumors.com)