According a report, first by Joel Silverman and later confirmed by Ken Rosenthal, the Chicago Cubs and Boston-buddy Theo Epstein have landed Cuban centerfielder Jorge Soler for a reported 9-years, $30 million.
Several clubs had emerged as front-runners, including the Yankees, but ultimately it was the Cubs that ponies up the money. The Red Sox were rumored to be in on discussion but nothing materialized, likely because the team was never interested in giving that deal to Soler.
With the July 2 deadline coming before the new CBA limits the amount that can be thrown at international prospects, it was a sure thing that somebody would have a new Cuban prospect inked by then. It was the Cubs who decided to pay the most.
Everything I've heard on the 20 year old suggests he will be a fairly high ranked prospect in the next couple years, but he will start his major league journey at the low levels of the minors like any other prospect being drafted through the MLB Draft.
At $30 million over nine years, the Cubs could end up with a great value from Soler, but I don't think it was in the best interest of the Red Sox to sign him. The team already has high level outfield prospects in the low minors, Jackie Bradley, Bryce Brentz, Brandon Jacobs and Ryan Kalish all ranked top 10 in the system.
Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford also factor into the equation. There's a chance, though maybe a small one, that the Sox sign Ellsbury after the '13 season and if they do that's left and centerfield locked up for several years. I'm almost certain the Sox didn't feel it was a necessity to pay $30 million for another outfielder.
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