According to a report from Ken Rosenthal, Jorge Soler has been granted free agency by Major League Baseball and is now eligible to sign with any big league club.
The Cubs were linked heavily to the 20-year old Cuban outfielder in January and several reports had him already agreeing to a deal with the Chicago Cubs. Those reports were inaccurate but many feel the Cubs are still the favorite to sign him. Expect the Cubs to be involved in the bidding for Jorge Soler.
Updated 12:03pm CDT with additional information from Baseball America on Jorge Soler’s free agency.
Updated 12:32pm CDT – According to Kevin Goldstein, Jorge Soler’s agent, Barry Praver, has requested that offers for his client be submitted by Thursday, June 7. According to Ken Rosenthal, Jorge Soler had been waiting to be cleared by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Expect the Cubs to be one of the heavy bidders on Jorge Soler. The new international signing cap does not begin until July 2. Teams can bid/pay as much as they would like on Jorge Soler until then.
Stay Tuned … will update when additional information becomes available.
Update 10:56am CDT – Jon Heyman confirmed Rosenthal’s report that Jorge Soler has been granted free agency by Major League Baseball.
Update 12:03pm CDT – According to a report from Ben Badler, Jorge Soler has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball but teams cannot officially enter into agreement with him.
According to Baseball America, Soler’s agent, Bart Hernandez, still must produce an unblocking license from the OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) or two permanent residency documents from a new country before any deal can be consummated.
This delay appears to be nothing but a formality. As Badler reported, MLB typically does not send out a memo declaring a Cuban player a free agent unless full clearance is not far away.
Baseball America is reporting that many teams believe Jorge Soler already has a deal in place, which would make the announcement pretty much a moot point. But if a deal is already in place it would be in violation of MLB rules and U.S. Federal Law.
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