The Cubs signed Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, CBSSports.com has confirmed.
The deal is for nine years and a guaranteed $30 million, CBSSports.com has learned. There is one caveat to the $30-million figure: Soler will have the option to opt out of the agreed-upon salaries and accept arbitration instead, once he's eligible for that process. So while the deal is worth a minimum of $30 million, it could be worth more than that if Soler proves to be as productive as the Cubs hope and Soler believes the arbitration process could benefit him financially.
Word was that there were "several'' other teams that bid at least $25 million for the power-hitting 20-year-old. The deal keeps Soler, a potential cornerstone player, with the Cubs until he's close to 30.
With Starlin Castro, Brett Jackson and also Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs have the makings of a formidable lineup of the future. They still need young pitching and are expected to seek it on the trade market where they will be active sellers.
Speaking of Soler, one AL scout summed him up in four words, "Strength legit. Power bat.''
Said an N.L. exec: "He has a chance to be an All-Star corner outfielder.''
The Yankees, Dodgers, Jays, Braves and several other teams showed interested in Soler.
Soler's agreement was first reported by Joel Sherman of The New York Post.