Are the Cubs Close to Signing Jorge Soler? … and Other News and Notes

Happy Valentine’s Day … The long off-season is just about over. Cubs’ pitchers and catchers officially report to Fitch Park in just four days.

One of the Cubs’ off-season targets was taken off the board Monday when Yoenis Cespedes agreed to a four-year, $36 million deal with the Oakland A’s. Cespedes is expected to be in the A’s Opening Day lineup instead of beginning the season in the minors.

With Cespedes no longer an option, the Cubs have reportedly turned their attention to signing 19-year old Jorge Soler and are reportedly close to signing him. Soler has not established residency in the Dominican Republic, which is the first step in the process of him becoming eligible to sign with a Major League team.

According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs are interested in a reunion with Ramon Ortiz. Levine reported Monday afternoon that the Cubs are interested in offering Ortiz a minor league contract that would include an invite to big league camp.

And finally, could the Cubs play their home games in 2013 on the South Side?

Here’s the update …

Jorge Soler
The Cubs are very much in the mix for Jorge Soler and many think the Cubs could have already reached an agreement with the 19-year old Cuban outfielder.

The Cubs are thought to have met with Soler while they were in the Dominican earlier this month visiting their new academy.

Jorge Soler’s agent, Barry Praver, declined to comment on the reports when contacted by ESPN Chicago. Praver shared a car ride with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer from Chicago to Milwaukee on November 14 to attend the General Managers’ Meetings. According to the report from ESPN Chicago, the Cubs and Praver discussed Soler during the trip.

The Cubs reportedly would be willing to spend $27.5 million on a three-four year deal for Jorge Soler according to the Tribune. Soler turns 20 on February 25 and the Cubs have already signed two of his former teammates this off-seasonYasiel Balaguert and Carlos Martinez.

Jorge Soler must establish residency in the Dominican Republic before he can apply for free agency with Major League Baseball. Once MLB declares Soler a free agent, he can negotiate with teams and agree to terms on a contract … but he cannot sign a contract until he receives an unblocking license from OFAC.

Cubs’ Home Games at the Cell?
Could the Cubs’ play their home games during the 2013 season at U.S. Cellular Field? The Cubs denied the report from NBC Chicago that they are looking at contingencies for where they could play their home games if Wrigley Field receives its much-needed make-over.

According to a report from CBS Chicago, the Cubs are saying reports “are putting the cart before the horse” and “there is no done deal” but CBS’ sources at the Cell are hearing “there may be a busier than usual season in 2013″

Theo Epstein Compensation
The Theo Epstein compensation issue could finally be coming to an end. Several reports Monday indicated Bud Selig could make a decision at some point this week.

The Cubs and Red Sox have “submitted written arguments” to Bud Selig “on what compensation the Red Sox should receive for allowing Theo Epstein to leave” Boston with a year remaining on his contract.

Bud Selig has not given a timetable for a decision and both the Cubs and Sox declined to comment on the situation Monday.

News and Notes
Ozzie Guillen discussed the end of Carlos Zambrano’s career with the Cubs. Guillen said Zambrano wore out his welcome, did a lot of bad things and was out of hand.

For the latest from Fitch Park, click here for the update from Tim Sheridan.

Kevin Goldstein released his list of the top 101 prospects in the game. Three of the Cubs’ best prospects made Goldstein’s list. Brett Jackson checked in at no. 44 while Javier Baez (66) and Anthony Rizzo (75) also made the list.

And … according to Baseball America, Gerardo Concepcion is now the 19th best prospect in the Cubs’ system.

WGN Radio Contest

WGNSongContest.jpg

WGN Radio has asked the CCO to help promote their latest contest … write the official WGN Radio Cubs Song for the 2012 season. For those baseball fans that are also musicians this could end up being your bring break.

All entries must be submitted by February 29, 2012.

Click here for more information and the official rules from WGN Radio.

Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"You try to get that game out of your mind, but it never leaves you." - Cool Papa Bell
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  • Tony_Hall

    I would love to see the Cubs use Wrigley North over the Cell, IF they need to move some or all games for a season.  

    • paulcatanese

      Agree with you Tony, if nothing else it would bring about the need for the Cubs to improve Wrigley in the eyes of the fans.
      All the extras on a new park would come out with the anemeties that the Cell has for the players. Room to work out indoors, improving the skills (indoor batting),etc.
      These are things the Cubs have needed for some time now. I can understand the reluctance of Cub fans going to games there,as I felt the same when living in Chicago.
      If thought out by fans they would see that there is no other way to do this except to play all away games, and we all know that wouldn’t work.
      The primary reason is to improve Wrigley, period.
      As long as they are not required to use the “Hawk” to broadcast the games, it should be livable.

      • Denver Mike

        I think he was saying Wrigley North (Milwaukee) not the Cell

        • paulcatanese

          Thank you for the correction, and that would make more sense. My error.

          • Tony_Hall

            Cmon Paul – Wrigley North.  I know you have been away from Chicago, but there was nothing quite like going to a Cubs/Brewers game at new Miller Park and it being 80% Cub fans.  I took my step-father to a game (he’s a Brewer fan) and told him how it would 80% Cub fans and he didn’t believe me, until the placed filled up with Cubbie blue.

            Now the Brewer fans got smart and instead of complaining about it, they buy tickets to try to keep Cub fans from getting them.  

          • paulcatanese

            Tony, it totaly did not register, I swear. I left Chicago in 1963.
            But you are right, I should have known better as I watch almost all of the Cubs either on TV or the computer.You caught me:)

      • Anthony

        paul, I may have been banned for being honest, and not a Cub yesman, so ask Neil for my email address

    • gary3411

       I’d rather see the cell, only for selfish reasons as its a short 30 minute metra train ride north for me. So much easier than getting to a Cubs game. And Milwaukee would be a big hassle for a one-day trip.

      • Tony_Hall

        Makes sense, best way (if needed) would be to spit up games, which they may have to do anyway.  

        I like Miller Park, and have no use for the White Sox.

        • gary3411

          Yea Miller park is awesome, and I loved those Cubbie blue games back in the day too. Bleachers I couldn’t even spot a Brewers fan. The cell would just be awesome for me personally.

  • Tony_Hall

    Soler and Concepcion are what I was hoping to sign out of the Cuban free agents.  This is maximizing the last chance to “buy” international free agents. 

    You can’t compare these players to draft picks, who are only allowed to sign with the one team that drafted them, or go back into the draft the next year.  And you can’t compare them to MLB free agents, who have already played 6 years in the majors.Let’s wait and see what Soler really signs for, but the Cespedes rumors of $60M were so far out of line, that it should make you wonder, why you would ever take rumors as factual information.

    • cubtex

      Where would Cuban lefthander Gerardo Concepcion fit onto a revised Cubs prospect list? Is he worthy of the overall Top 100 Prospects list?

      Matt Cummings
      West Des Moines, Iowa
      Though the Cubs gave Concepcion a $7 million major league contract, he projects more as a No. 4 starter than as a front-of-the-rotation option. The 19-year-old stands out more with his advanced feel for pitching than he does for his pure stuff. His fastball ranges from 86-92 mph and his curveball ranges from inconsistent to solid. “If everything works out,” one scout said, “maybe he becomes Randy Wolf.”
      In the BA Grade system we introduced in the 2012 Prospect Handbook, Concepcion merits a 50/High. I’d put him at No. 19 on a revised Cubs Top 30, between outfielders Reggie Golden and Jae-Hoon Ha, and he’s not a Top 100-caliber prospect.

      Concepcion is not really worth a 40 man roster spot. He has average stuff and does not have much upside.

      • Tony_Hall

        Like I have said before, you can always find someone online that will support your side of anything.  I can post others that show more upside.  

        None of it matters.  The guys in charge of the Cubs wanted him and paid him to be a Cub.  Now all we can hope for is he reaches the majors and helps the team.

        • cubtex

          I should have said that is from baseballamerica. Concepcion’s stats don’t lie. He doesn’t miss bats! Many international scouts were shocked the Cubs gave him 7 mil. I wouldn’t get too excited about him. Let’s hope McNutt and Maples pan out.

          • Tony_Hall

            Well if it’s baseballamerica, we should just cut him now, and save everyone time, because baseball america has spoken.

            I’m hoping that all of our players do well enough, that we have choices to make as to who advances, not just one player.

          • cubtex

            Relax Tony. I am just stating it is not some fly by night publication. Look at the dudes stats. He will not be a top of the rotation starter. It is funny….you are so critical of Matt Garza on how he is a #3 and now because Theo signed a player with very hittable stuff….he can be a top of the rotation guy. Give me a break!

          • Tony_Hall

            Where did I ever say he would be a top of the rotation pitcher?

            He is 18 years old.

            No one knows for sure what he will develop into, it is all projections, and the projections say either a 5th starter or better. I don’t believe any are forecasting #1 potential.

            I have been critical of people who think Garza is an ACE, as he does not compare to the best starters in baseball.  He is a very good pitcher, who is a solid #2/#3 pitcher and I am glad he is on our team, but I was critical of the trade that sent away prospects in what I thought should have been a rebuilding year like this year has become, of which you know all this since I believe we have discussed this a time or two :)

  • Ripsnorter1

    I know that this is a Cubs’ site, but….
    The Baltimore Orioles are giving away a free ticket for your birthday month.

    https://secure.mlb.com/bal/ticketing/birthday_form.jsp 

  • Tony_Hall

    Here is a thought, if B Harper or S Strasburg would have been allowed to be free agents, like the Cubans, what would teams have paid to sign them?

    Let’s see if the market conditions of a player, can change what they receive in a contract offer?

    I’ll start the bidding.,..

    Harper 6 years $22M

    Strasburg 5 years $20M

    Does anyone think that these amount would win a bid?  I don’t

    Yet they only received this amount through the draft system…

    Strasburg 4 years $15.1M
    Harper 5 years $9.9M

    • Anthony

      The entire gyst of your post was the impetus for the new CBA and the disguised new hard slot and IFA rules forthcoming.

      The CBA would have stalled and a work stoppage would have resulted because….

      MLB players were tired of kids making more money than them having never played one inning of professional baseball, and they resented it greatly.

      Those are facts right from several horses mouths.

      They had a problem with the 2011 and prior draft bonuses and most will be shaking their heads at the Soler contract, one more time, before order is restored.

      Your Soler better be Superman, because these hungry afterthought players are going to be firing kryptonite in his direction.

      • Tony_Hall

        Just like Ichiro, Matsui and all the other international players were resented greatly….

        So I am assuming this means you agree that the market conditions of each player does dictate that they receive different amounts, than even similarly talented players.

        Also, I don’t represent Soler, he’s not “my Soler” and I would hope that most players, will actually try to get to know him, to decide if they like him or not, versus, hating him for being from Cuba…at least that is what I hope our American players would do, welcome him as a friend….he’s done nothing wrong.

        • Schwimmer

          Right on, Tony!!!! We have enough hate in this country. The rhetoric can be more civil. It is amazing all the things that make fans angry and resentful these days.

        • Anthony

          comprehension is a great skill, especially while reading

          the resentment isn’t toward a person, the MLB’ers resented the system and forced change, i.e the new CBA

          the overpaid are symbols of it $$

          • daverj

            What does “overpaid” mean?  If the system allows Soler to be paid as a free agent and a team gives it to him, it’s not “overpaid” … it’s his market value.

          • John_CC

             Correct.

            Now Market Value may be appear to be skewed or unjust…but this is the Free Market at work! God Bless America!!!!

          • Tony_Hall

            I guess this is what I comprehended.

            “because these hungry afterthought players are going to be firing kryptonite in his direction.” 

            That sure sounds like being resentment at a person….”krptonite in his direction”

      • gary3411

         Harper got less than 2 million a year. What major leaguer has not received 2 million a year? Very few long-lasting major leaguers have not made 2million a year. Not to mention there’s guys signing for 25million a year. Prospects are valuable to a team. The only reason players wanted this new deal is because now they are going to really, really, hit the jackpot come free agency. If anybody thinks some of the amount free agents have been signing for has been ridiculous the last few years, just wait until 2012-2016.

        Not to mention, and maybe I’m neglecting something that was added to the new deal, but the small market teams seem to be absolutely screwed in this new process, especially since they scaled down draft-pick compensation as well. The one way they competed was loading up on prospects and paying a bit over-slot to do that. I can’t find the draft/bonus history of the Rays, but my guess is they’ve spent much more than the average team in the draft.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Jim Bowden’s take on Cespedes:

    A 4 tool player that can’t hit.  
    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7571377 

    Video makes interesting statements about the A’s gambling on players with power that can take a walk.

  • John_CC

    Since all the prognosticators seem to be guessing on these international free agents – Yu Darvish guesses were off, Cespedes figure was nearly 50% wrong with guesses of $60M to sign him – I am going to shoot a conservative but still probably high figure of $25M for Soler. $25M and 5 years for a big 20 year old kid, 5 tool, potential studly, free agent – 5 and 25M, that is not a lot of money.

    Anthony, I understand your argument, you do not believe in paying big bucks for kids that have never played professional baseball. I get it. Even though Cuban national league is a professional baseball league. But I get it.

    But this is an international free agent. After all the hatred spewed forth over Cespedes; less money for a younger, bigger, and apparently more talented baseball player and for more years certainly can be seen as a decent gamble.  Can’t it?  $5M per for a kid with this potential?  I’m all for it.

    • Anthony

      Soler did NOT play Cuban pro ball, he defected after the 18U season(high school) competition

  • Aaron

    There is no chance that Soler gets the type of deal you suggest…think more along the lines of what we’ve already heard…3-4 yrs $27.5 million with control for 6 yrs.

    Signing Soler is a much better gamble than Cespedes in several different ways, including age, yrs of control but most importantly…attitude.

    I just wonder what level he will start at…and given the contract, wouldn’t that necessitate a Samardzija-esque ascension even if he isn’t ready?

    If indeed true, then I would assume Soriano is gone this yr.

    • John_CC

       Type of deal who suggests? 

      I assume the perv you speak of isn’t actually a person. Spammers!

  • Aaron

    Neil,

    Can you please block pervs like the guys that just posted?

    You have to be a low life to creep around on sites and randomly post stuff like that….

    Also are you experiencing issues with logging on mobile to disqus? I had to post as guest

    • daverj

      Aaron – We may strongly disagree on Flaherty and Gonazlez, but I’m with you 100% on this post.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree Aaron 100%, there ought to be an automatic electric shock on the other end when that stuff shows up.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Aaron, I just did.

      Just as a reminder to everyone, please flag a comment with inappropriate content but do not reply to it. I cannot delete the comment if it has been replied to.

      Thanks

  • Rational Logic

    Does anyone have ESPN Insider? They are ranking the teams as to where they think they will be in 5 years…seems perfect for everything we’ve seen this winter. They’ve only done 21-30 today (hope we’re not on there), but if anyone sees it, I’d love for them to post the part about us…HAS to be very positive!

    Thanks!

    • gary3411

       I am an insider and searched multiple phrases looking for it. Post a link.

    • gary3411

       nevermind i found it

    • gary3411

       Don’t worry Cubs aren’t on it yet. Orioles last, Sox third to last!

      • Rational Logic

        Good to hear! I have to think we-re somewhere between 8-12? (maybe a bit optimistic since I am of course a Cubs fan…i’d settle for 13th).

        • gary3411

          I don’t think we’ll be top ten, but only because Law doesn’t like our farm system as much as others. Cash is a big factor, and we should have a ton of it.

      • paulcatanese

        Does that mean the Cubs aren’t even good enough to list as last?:)

  • John_CC

     Dome get’s 1 year and $1 Million from the SSiders.  That’s a good deal…for both!

    • ChadAudio

      I agree.  That is a great deal for both sides… glad Fukadome stays in the MLB for another season.

    • paulcatanese

      I agree on that. He does get to stay in Chicago and enjoy his new Condo, and to top it off, Rip can have first hand knowledge of what Fuko is doing every day::))

    • cubtex

      I would have rather signed Fuko to play RF for a year at 1mil than sign DeJesus for 2 years at 10 mil. That is a no brainer to me.

  • cc002600

    The sox signing of Fuky is just too good to be true.

    Oh, the fun I’m going to have with my big mouth sox fan buddies on this one. 

    There is a God after all.

    LOL !!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Bruce Miles: Hearing that Soler to Cubs a long way from being done. A good number of teams still have serious interest.

  • Rye7

    grow the hell up. you must be a sox fan

  • Rye7

    You too Dip $hit

    • Bothevolfan

      What has happened to this site? It used to be full of cub fans with an interest in discussing different point of views. Now it is loaded with people that want to act like 10 year olds. What happened to stay classy?

  • Anthony

    I mentioned yesterday why the Centipede took the Oakland offer

    “The Cubs were very close to the A’s offer in terms of dollars on Cespedes, but along with several other teams, were not willing to give him a four-year deal as opposed to a six-year deal.Most teams that were involved in the bidding for Cespedes wanted a longer deal so that they could start him in the minor leagues and let him get acclimated to professional baseball in the United States. With only a four-year deal at $9 million per season, the pressure to push him to the big leagues would be very intense and could have a significant negative impact on his development as a player.”

    I mentioned only idiots would pay 25M for 3-4 years

    “However, according to a highly placed source, talk of him already agreeing to a deal with the Cubs are not accurate and the reports from the Dominican Republic of a four-year deal for 27.5 million dollars with Chicago are ludicrous. The Cubs are expected to be insistent on a longer deal if he wants to sign with them, but the dollars could fall into that range.”

    Quotes from Kaplan article

    Look, up in the sky, its a bird, its a plane, no, its SuperSoler

    lol

    • John_CC

       Fine. Give 28M$ for 6 years.  Yeah, the $4.6 Million Dollar man…not quite “super”.  That would put him in the salary range of Theriot, Aaron Miles, et al. Wow!

      • Dorasaga

         This is going nowhere.

        We need arbitration here.
        >:-)

      • cc002600

        Don’t you find it interesting that the AVERAGE MLB salary is $4-$5M, and yet this guy is having a heart attack about giving a highly touted FA prospect $27M over 4/5 years ?

        What am I missing ?

        That is like lunch money today.

        • gary3411

           Yea that’s why I didn’t understand how he thought major leaguers were soooo mad about  the draft bonuses when Harper got less than 2mil a year last year and some have said he’s the best prospect ever.

  • daverj

    If a team signs Soler to a 4 year deal and he doesn’t reach the majors until year 3, am I correct to assume that the team would still have control of Soler for a couple years after the expiration of his initial contract and his salary for those years would be determined by arbitration (if an extension was not agreed to)?

    • Rational Logic

      I believe his service time doesn’t begin accruing until he reaches the majors.

    • gary3411

       I believe it can be built into the contract that he is a free agent after that season. But nobody in their right mind will offer him that especially if he is signed for 4 years. Maybe on a 6-7 year deal Soler might be looking to convince teams to give him that option.

  • Chefguy830

    All quiet on the Lake Michigan Front?

    What happened, Lois Lane missed the scoop on SuperSoler?

    Why all the backpeddling? Why all the damage control leaked to the media? The prospects of getting rich can make anyone very anxious, especially getting rich unconditionally because at 6’3″ and 225 pounds of Steel(with a red Cape) to go with the Cubbie Blue leotards, even SuperSoler can’t wait to spend it.

    You know what happens when compensation to the nTH degree of stupid dollars gets in the hands of a child?

    Who cares, right?

    I suppose Cubs fans deserve this kid as their next Great Hope to break the curse, and thank goodness I am not one of them.

    Listen, as said many times, its not personal, its the system, and that system took a turn for the better, but this last ditch effort to puke all over oneself to shower US dollars on a kid who never played competitvely past high school age is another example of what is wrong with affiliated professional baseball.

    He better be Roy Hobbs, the Babe, and every other great of the past wrapped up into one player for your sakes.

    And I also like the 30 pound weight gain in the past year. There is video from 18u of a skinny kid, then a defection, hiding in the DomRep for a year, and all of a sudden, a 225 pound specimen, as reported.

    Dudes, and ladies if in attendance. This looks like a classic steroid, PEDS scenario of duping the Ivy League smarties of their Boss Money, and then some.

    And he flails at sliders like Soriano.

    Happy Trails to those sucked in!

    • Tony_Hall

      How many times have you puked on us this same dribble…

      Glad to see you finally admit you are not a Cub fan.

  • paulcatanese

    Tom U, I guess this question would be for you.
    If Campana is sent to AAA, would he have Sacramento on his schedule? Thats only 150 miles south of me and would make the trip if he is there. (hope he sticks, but being realistic), when you or anyone else has the answer I would appreciate letting me know. Thanks.

    • Tom U

      Paul, here is a link to a website for the Iowa Cubs

      http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t451 

      Iowa plays at Sacramento May 12, 13, 14, and 15

      • paulcatanese

        Thank you Tom, hope he stays with the Cubs, but just in case.

        • Denio

           Thanks for the info… I live 10 miles from Raley Field where the River Cats play..  Paul, you must be in Redding..

          • paulcatanese

            You’re right. Played many a fast pitch tournament in Sac. Good restaurants there. Moved up here in 95 from the Bay Area to be close to the grandkids and coach a little baseball.

  • cubs1967

    so what were the stats on Soler last year in cuba ball?? i have not seen those.
    did theo and jed scount him……i’m no customs law expert; but cuba is not a country you just hop in and out of i guess.
    where are Soler’s parents in all this?
    how does a teenager/kid adapt to a new county, language, rules, team, high expectations, much-much better of competition, who will his guardians be…his parents??….tough to leave cuba.
    and all these for rumor like numbers of 27M.
    no thanks.
    and with the yanks involved plus others the chance of this being true is getting more realistic.
    27M is better spent on a Garza extension, buying out Castro’s arb years or being spent on proven MLB FA talent; not a teenage foreigner.
    and that’s what this is about…..not all the bitchin’ on here about “understanding” why he gets more than gerrit cole did last year; but is 27M a good use of cubs funds to risk?…..unless the kid is signed for around 10-12M; it’s not a good use of funds. and whether he’s signed for that high a number or drafted and gets it; 27M risked on an unproven teenager is idiotic, poor use of cubs funds,and based on theo’s other foreign expedniture(dick-K); he doesn’t know what he is doing.
    7M on concepion is no worse than a drafted american kid; 27 or 20 or 18M on Soler; is a firable offense unless he’s a near all-star. it’s really than black and white. let’s hope we pass; i can find other uses of 27M; on proven MLB talent; that will win a WS; not a “shot in the dark”.

    • paulcatanese

      Pretty potent and to the point, and its worth someone to answer it to the contrary, if they can.
      What you are saying is what I mean by spending on The Cubs system and had nothing to do with what or where they came from,you are right they Cespedes and Soler are unproven and the dollars could be better spent here on Castro and Garza as you say, that makes sense.

    • Tom U

      cubs1967, from what I’ve seen, how an international signing adapts to pro ball in America seems to depend more on their own personal make-up rather than the culture they came from. 

      Last season, Cubans Rubi Silva and Frank Del Valle didn’t seen to have much trouble adapting, but Yaniel Cabezas did. 

      The previous year, Hak-Ju Lee seemed to be having trouble until joined by Jae-Hoon Ha. 

      And don’t forget Ryan Searle, who may be furthest away from home being a native of Australia. That hasn’t seemed to effect his performance.

    • Tony_Hall

      It’s a good thing that the Cubs more than just one $27M to spend over the next 6-8 years, or you would be right, spend it on Garza, Castro would all be better moves.

      Plus, it is just a rumor, can you wait until the real number happens AND it’s the Cubs to sign him.

      Cespedes was going to get $60M+ and received $36m

      Concepcion received $7M – that is pocket change in MLB.

      This is why I don’t like spending on catchers, utitlity infielders, back-up OF, last 3 spots of a bullpen, and any player replaceable production, so they can spend money on players with upside.  

      $27M over 6 years $4.5M/year – 8 years $3.375M, it won’t greatly affect their payroll and, I can pay for it by trading Soto for prospects and using our system to continuously producing catchers.  

      This isn’t a total shot in the dark, they have scouted this kid, just like they scout lots of kids.  

      Find me an All-Star on the FA market for under $5M…we should sign him (a true All-Star, not a player like Byrd who went because someone had to represent a team).

      Soler is the bat that is worth taking a chance on (over Cespedes) and with this being the last chance to buy a FA, you of all people, I thought would be behind spending the money to bring him in.

  • Rob_Mer

    To be clear, if Soler hasn’t established Domincan residency, then that means there can be no discussion, zero, about any type of contract.  We’re not talking about MLB guidelines here, we are talking about United States laws, specifically enforced by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.  It is illegal for a U.S. citizen and/or business, such as the Chicago Cubs, to enter into any type of financial discussions (such as a free-agent contract) with a Cuban business, or citizen, such as Soler. 

    So if Soler were to signed to the $27.5 million contract as described, expect to see Theo, Jed or whomever snapped in handcuffs and escorted out of Wrigley Field. Ask Barry Bonds what happens when the government comes after you.  There is no such thing as a technicality or a “whoops, I didn’t know” escape clause, especially since the Cubs and all teams are familiar with this law.  Nothing about money can be discussed at this time.  Nothing.

    And, frankly, what advantage does Soler get?  Once he has DR residency, he will shop his services to the highest bidder, not some under-the-table offer from the Cubs. 

    There is no offer. Theo is much too smart to leak his offer to the market so others can counter it. Anyone who has followed Theo in Boston knows numbers like this don’t leak.  He is also way too intelligent to get himself thrown in jail by committing a felony.

    So let’s ask who gains out of this leaked (yet fake) offer?  It’s Soler.  His agent is trying to set a minimum price and get the other teams in a frenzy on the rumor.

    The Cubs may end up with Soler, but this entire story right now is B.S., just like Cespedes was a lock to sign with the Marlins.

    • jw

      Finally reason!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Funko signs with the White Sox for $500,000.

    • paulcatanese

      You must be estatic Rip:):)

      • Ripsnorter1

        Who will hit more HRs in 2012:

        DeJesus, or Funko?
        SB?
        Batting Average?
        Walks?
        Slugging?

        • gary3411

           I’ll take Dejesus in all those, at least a majority. The only way Fuko will beat him is if he faces ONLY right-handed pitching and Dejesus is exposed to both often.

        • paulcatanese

          Can’t argue with that,bring back Aaron Miles:)