Jorge Soler was connected to several teams throughout the off-season as the Cubs explored ways to acquire young controllable starting pitching. And with the recent addition of Dexter Fowler, Soler is drawing a lot of interest according to Nick Cafardo.
Until the Cubs re-signed Dexter Fowler, Soler was expected to be the team’s every day right fielder. But with Fowler back for at least one season, Jason Heyward will be the Cubs’ right fielder. Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon said that Soler will see time in left field along with Kyle Schwarber.
The Cubs believe in Soler and Theo Epstein thinks his performance in the playoffs last year was just a glimpse of the player he could be one day.
“I think there’s still untapped potential in there. All you have to do is really watch the post-season last year to understand what type of offensive force he can be,” Epstein said. “He’s got tremendous raw power, hits the ball as hard as anyone but he’s not just a slugger, a power hitter. He really can work an at-bat. He really can recognize pitches. He really can adjust his swing.”
“You saw he reached base nine straight times in the post-season against the best pitching the league has to offer. It was a glimpse into what he can be when he reaches his potential.”
Nick Cafardo did not say which teams are interested in Soler. The Indians and Braves are two teams that reportedly covet Soler and have talked to the Cubs about the 24-year old outfielder. It’s unclear if the Cubs and Braves would matchup on a trade at this point. The Cubs were interested in Shelby Miller before he was traded to Arizona. And the Cubs had conversations with Atlanta about Ender Inciarte. But the Cubs are no longer looking for a center fielder.
The Cubs have talked to the Indians about Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco. The Indians are not looking to trade either pitcher. And that’s unlikely to change unless Cleveland gets off to a slow start and decides to hit the reset button in July.
The Rays are believed to like Javier Baez more than Jorge Soler. Tampa has several arms the Cubs have been connected to (Alex Cobb, Matt Moore) and have shown a lot of interest in Jake Odorizzi.
And if the Padres make Tyson Ross available, San Diego is another team that has been linked to Soler in the past.
Jorge Soler has one minor league option left which gives the front office a little flexibility if he struggles and loses his spot on the roster this spring.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have created a lot of depth on the big league roster. At some point, the Cubs will trade controllable position players for a top of the rotation-type pitcher with multiple years of control. And until then, Jorge Soler will be consistently mentioned in trade rumors.