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February 2012

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COMMENTS

Morning News: Soler Not Quite a Sure Thing

Written by , Posted in General

The Soler News is a Changin’: On Monday, a good amount of chatter reported that the Cubs had a wink and a nod deal with Jorge Soler for 4 years and around $27 million.  These reports were from reputable sources: the Chicago Tribune’s Dave van Dyck, CSN’s Dave Kaplan and Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein all published this news.

New reports over the past few days, however, indicate that a deal for Soler might not be so complete.  Rumors from Buster Olney and others have mentioned that the Yankees, Phillies, Blue Jays and Orioles are looking into the young Cuban phenom.  It is hard to tell what this all means, though.

Moreover, Ben Badler noted today that even engaging in negotiations with Soler could both violate MLB rules and federal law, although the lawyer in me has to ask how “negotiations” would be defined.  Taking that into account, the Cubs clearly want it to look like there is not a deal even if there is one.  But we’re completely in wait and see mode.

Also, while I might be wrong on this, I sincerely doubt the Phillies are in on Soler.  Their payroll is completely maxed out and they have two key players, Cole Hamels and Hunter Pence, who will be free agents after this season.  However, I would not be surprised to see either the Blue Jays or Yankees make a good run.

For a point of reference, Soler would be considered somewhere between the best and fourth best prospect in the Cubs’ system, depending on who you asked.  He would likely be number one for Kevin Goldstein, number two for Keith Law (behind Anthony Rizzo) and number three or four for Jim Callis.

Even Jim Hendry Didn’t Do Something This Dumb:  On January 30, the Orioles signed 17-year old Korean pitcher Seong-Min Kim to a minor league deal for a $550,000 bonus.  Unfortunately for them, they did not follow proper protocol.  To sign a Korean prospect, a team must first contact MLB, who then contacts the Korean Baseball Organization commissioner to get permission for the team to negotiate.  The Orioles did not do any of those things.  And they made the KBO mad.

In response, Orioles scouts are banned from attending Korean baseball games.  On top of that, MLB reportedly voided the Orioles’ contract with Kim.  So the Orioles essentially have South Korea closed off to them for the near future for failing to meet basic protocol and also do not get to keep the guy they broke the rules to get.  Nice job Dan Duquette!

A New Cubs Fan: Some of you may have noticed that I have not been posting much lately.  In fact, I don’t think I have had a post since the beginning of January.  That is because my wife and I welcomed our first child, Bennett, to the world on January 12.  He’s doing great and I’m looking forward to indoctrinating him to the perennial disappointment that is Chicago Cubs fandom (which will hopefully stop being a perennially disappointing experience in his lifetime.)

Joe on ESPN Radio: Joe was a guest on the Mouth of the Midwest show on the ESPN Radio affiliate in Iowa yesterday afternoon to talk about the Cubs. You can listen to the 10 minute interview to hear his thoughts on things pertaining to the team heading into camp.

  • Buddy

    Congrats Noah. All the best to you and your family.

  • Buddy

    Congrats Noah. All the best to you and your family.

  • Chetwest

    Noah, Congrats! It’s a hell of a ride!

  • Chetwest

    Noah, Congrats! It’s a hell of a ride!

  • Doc Raker

    Congrat’s Noah! 

  • Doc Raker

    Congrat’s Noah! 

  • Doc Raker

    Solar not quite a sure thing also.

  • Rich Beckman

    Congratulations!!  There’s nothing better than kids!

  • RichBeckman

    Congratulations!!  There’s nothing better than kids!

  • BLPCB

    Congrats on your first kid. Now you can teach him to hate the things you hate.

  • AC0000000

    Congrats on your first kid. Now you can teach him to hate the things you hate.

  • Great interview, Joe…made my morning
    **spoiler alert**
    Joe aptly compares LaHair to Ham Fighter Micah Hoffpauir to make a point…

    • Joe Aiello

      Appreciate that. I never know what he’s going to ask so I’m not able to put any prep work in to make sure I don’t get caught off guard.

      • You nailed it.  More proof to the theory that we are spoiled with respect to quality of content on VFTB.  Even our manager can step up and knock one out.    

      • Joe Aiello

        I don’t know about that, but thanks I was actually doing that interview outside because child # 2 & 3 were crying inside and it was quite cold.

    • Joe Aiello

      Appreciate that. I never know what he’s going to ask so I’m not able to put any prep work in to make sure I don’t get caught off guard.

      • You nailed it.  More proof to the theory that we are spoiled with respect to quality of content on VFTB.  Even our manager can step up and knock one out.    

  • Chuck

    A 19-year old kid not a sure thing?!  Really?!  This is my surprised face.
    $27M for a kid that old is just a huge mistake and a waste of money unless he is a top-of-the-line stud.  As with most prospects, there is a better-than-even chance that he is a bust.

  • Chuck

    A 19-year old kid not a sure thing?!  Really?!  This is my surprised face.
    $27M for a kid that old is just a huge mistake and a waste of money unless he is a top-of-the-line stud.  As with most prospects, there is a better-than-even chance that he is a bust.

  • …oh, and congrats Noah.  Same birth week as my daughter.  Wild ride!  I have been vocalizing my distaste for the DH around Emma…laying the foundation.  

  • …oh, and congrats Noah.  Same birth week as my daughter.  Wild ride!  I have been vocalizing my distaste for the DH around Emma…laying the foundation.  

  • Noah_I

    Thanks for the congrats all.  And regarding Soler’s potential price, he’s definitely the biggest beneficiary of the new CBA.  He is the last big ceiling prospect who will be able to be signed without the new CBA’s constraints on international amateur spending, so it increases his value.  This did not effect Cespedes, as the new CBA does not place these limitations on Cuban players over an age cutoff, which I believe is 23.

  • Noah_I

    Thanks for the congrats all.  And regarding Soler’s potential price, he’s definitely the biggest beneficiary of the new CBA.  He is the last big ceiling prospect who will be able to be signed without the new CBA’s constraints on international amateur spending, so it increases his value.  This did not effect Cespedes, as the new CBA does not place these limitations on Cuban players over an age cutoff, which I believe is 23.

  • Milmurph

    I have a son also born on January 12 and he too (at 22 years old) is hoping the wait ends in his lifetime

  • Milmurph

    I have a son also born on January 12 and he too (at 22 years old) is hoping the wait ends in his lifetime

  • cap’n obvious

    now that the Clippers are good at basketball, it’s time to consider the Orioles as the most inept franchise in pro sports.  Yes, I realize the Cubs could certainly vie for this as well.  They aren’t losing much being kicked out of Korea…but man, how stupid can a front office be on a year in-year out basis?  After Weiters and Markakis, there isn’t one other guy on their 40 man that is even a little intriguing.   

  • Chuck

    How does one get an avatar on this site?  Is there an application process?  Do I need to clean Lizzie’s house?  Kiss cap’n’s pinky ring?  How?

    • Joe Aiello

      Chuck,

      There are a couple ways.

      1. Create a Disqus account and set the avatar in your disqus profile

      2. Create an account on http://www.gravatar.com and set your icon there. (Just make sure you use the same e-mail address associated with gravatar.

      3. Login with your Facebook Login

      4. Login with your Twitter Login

      If you need help, send me an e-mail – joe@viewfromthebleachers.com

  • Congrats Noah. I agree with jaswan, let them know as early as possible what an atrocity the DH is. Cheers to NL ball.

  • Congrats Noah. I agree with jaswan, let them know as early as possible what an atrocity the DH is. Cheers to NL ball.

  • cap’n obvious

    I’ve actually been considering rocking a pinky ring.  Chuck might have just forced my hand…