A few months ago, teams began to set their sights on Cuban defector Jorge Soler. A 20-year old outfielder who was considered to be the equivalent of a top-ten draft pick in terms of talent, he has been connected to a variety of teams since even before being granted free agent status on June 2nd. Now, just eight days after becoming eligible to sign, it appears that the bidding is about to come to a close. Multiple reports have stated that a decision on where Soler will play should be forthcoming in the next 24 hours. He will likely cost the winning team about $30 million over four years.
Previously, the Chicago Cubs had been the heavy favorites for Soler, though the Yankees appear to be coming on strong. As per Joel Sherman, the Yankees are “in deep” for Soler, and have been told that the final bids must be submitted today. Sherman states that it’s clear the Yankees like him as a potential cost-effective replacement for Nick Swisher. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, it’s likely down to the Yankees, Cubs, Braves, and Dodgers, all of which have been aggressively after Soler.
Soler, 20, is reportedly a potential five-tool player, though he’s nowhere as advanced as fellow defector Yoenis Cespedes. With the upper levels of the Yankees minor league system relatively barren in regards to impact players, adding a player like Soler to the mix could give the team a huge boost in the future. If signed, Soler would probably slot around 5th or 6th on the New York Yankees prospect list.