(Not Jorge Soler)

Here’s a name we haven’t talked about this off-season, apart from the two times it’s already appeared in this post, if you include the title: Jorge Soler.

The little-photographed Cuban [Note: seriously, internet, WTF?] has been overshadowed by his older, more expensive compatriot, Yoenis Cespedes, now a member of the Oakland A’s, but Soler is no slouch himself– albeit much farther from the Majors. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus explained in the preamble to his Top 101 Prospects list that he would rank 38th or 39th, which would make him the third best prospect in the Jays organization– in Goldstein’s view– behind Travis d’Arnaud and Jake Marisnick.

That is, if they were to sign him.

And apparently they’re interested, as Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that “on Wednesday morning, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos and members of his front office watched the 19-year-old Soler — along with Cuban pitcher Armando Rivero, outfielder Henry Urrutia and left-handed pitcher Omar Luis — work out at the club’s complex in Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic, according to an industry source.”

Of course, they’re not the only ones, as the Orioles are also due to watch Soler, and the “Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, Phillies and Cubs have also expressed interest,” Sanchez writes. The Cubs were reported to have come to a $28-million agreement with Soler– who isn’t even a free agent yet, as he’s just established residency in the Dominican Republic, and still has some hurdles to clear before it will be legal for an MLB club to sign him.

In an Ask BA column back in December, Jim Callis of Baseball America said that Soler may actually be a better prospect than Cespedes– younger and with five-tool potential. He compares him to Royals prospect Bubba Starling, the fifth pick in 2011, and says he’d expect both to be in the 11-20 range on his next top prospects list. Coupled with the fact that he may be the last major international free agent to hit the market before the severe spending restrictions of the new CBA come into place June 2nd, and it should make for a hefty payday for Soler– as the reported $28-million deal suggests.

Would the Jays pay such a premium for that kind of a talent? I’m not too sure. If money was no object, probably yes. But as it sometimes feels like things stand now, it’s hard to believe that they’ll be players, and aren’t simply doing their due diligence

Yet, it’s important to remember that the club did spend $10-million on Adeiny Hechavarria, and that Anthopoulos has said that he regrets not going quite to the $30.25-million level it took the Reds to get Aroldis Chapman. Plus, we know how they feel about toolsy young athletes, and they certainly couldn’t see it as a problem to have too many of those, given the way they’ve spoken about using prospect capital to facilitate trades. I wouldn’t rule them out– even if a quick trip around the internet shows that Cubs fans seem to think that Soler becoming theirs is, at this point, essentially a formality.

Comments (56)

  1. With how AA feels about not offering enough to Aroldis, There is always the possibility.

  2. He’s not quite as toolsy as Cespedes and scouts say he might have to move to right field BUT Rosenthals sources are saying his power is comparable to Mike Stanton. Sign him. Now.

  3. Would you pay $28M today for Jake Marisnick?

    I say this as a big Jake Marisnick fan, but it does seem a bit excessive.

  4. Can he jump over a small car?

  5.  Soler’s tools are MUCH louder then Marisnicks. More power, speed and arm

  6. Wasn’t trying to compare the two exactly, just meant that referring to Goldstein ranking Marisnick higher than Soler.

  7.  You have to also factor in that Soler is 2 years younger though, so he’s further away.  Thats why he’s 11 spots lower. Which says good things about Soler.

  8.  I completely see your point. Heck I’d do it I think. just because you still have that control on those kind of tools, last chance to really just spend big on the system

  9. If we had an opening day outfield in 2015 of Gose (24) Marisnick(23) and Soler(22) we’d have the youngest tooliest of tools outfield of all time…

  10. I wouldn’t assume anything about Soler’s age. 

    From where do you get the impression that Soler’s tools are MUCH louder than Marisnick’s?

  11. There’s also the fact that (as far as I  know, so tell me if I’m wrong) this is the last offseason to drop boatloads of dough on international players without penalty.

  12. And since when does age factor in to ranking prospects?

  13.  would I pay 28 Million for Marisnick.. no probably not.

    however the X factor is the fact that you are also buying a draft pick..

    You only get so many  draft picks, and acquiring another one does have value.

    Would you be willing to pay 10 million for a top 5 pick in the 2012 draft?  I would, especially if he compares to Bubba Starling.. but its not my money.

  14.  Because of the fact that Marisnicks power is about a 55-60, speed about a 60, but looks to be a 50 as he matures, his arm is about a 60 and D 65 or so from the kind of grades tossed out by talent evaluators.  Soler grades at about 70 power, 60 speed and 70 arm, can’t play CF though. half a standard deviation is’t alot, but when its nearly across the board.  I’m just saying Marisnick is more above-average everything while Soler has 3 louder tools and 2 that are not as loud.

  15. A 21 yr old who hits .300/.400/.500 in AAA is going to be considered a better prospect than a 25 yr old who hits the same.

    At least usually

  16. Just saying, Kevin Goldstein is the only guy who would have Marisnick ranked ABOVE Soler. BA, Law would have Marisnick below.

  17. I was asking for a source. You didn’t need to explain what having better tools means.

  18.  In terms of how close they are to the majors? All the time it factors in.   Raw ability vs. time table factors in. Its not like a ridiculous amount, but What level they will be playing in does make a pretty big difference.

  19. Pretty much, Soler would be 19 playing Low A ball. Marisnick was 20 in Low A and Goldstein didn’t even have him on the top 101

  20. Sorry, misread that one. If you want a source, you’ll have to listen to Up and In Podcasts (Kevin Goldstein), Read over BA, have BA subscription, Prospect handbook etc. I’d never look at just one source for something.

  21. What I’ve learned from looking at Getting Blanked site analytics: Write about Brett Lawrie or obnoxiously tell people what to think.

    ¡Díos mio, Parkes! It’s awfully big of you to finally admit, publicly, that you’re a bloody troll. I salute you.

  22. If I had somone elses money, I would.

  23. Is that the right question, though? You don’t have to pay $28m for Marisnick, you do for the Cuban market. 

  24. Hey guys… When youre feeling down about the Jays, just remember…. You could be an Orioles fan.

    http://www.masnsports.com/scho

  25. I think Goldstein tweeted Soler would come in mid-late-30s on his top 101 this year.

    I’ll see if i can find it, or if i’m misremembering.

  26. Here it is:

    http://www.baseballprospectus…. 

    Says he’d be 38 or 39 this year.

  27.  This might sound bad, but I often surf the Orioles Hangout forum for that very reason.

  28. Fielder in years 8 & 9 makes 47 mil give or take, all that for a tub of goo who already can’t play 1st base. Adam Lind can play 1st base.  The stay puffed prince hit a paltry 37 big flies in the NL Central, last year, for gawds sakes. Like, $500,000 per HR? You can sign lots of young FA’s for that kind of coin.
    The Jays scouts are looking like Nostrodamus the last couple of drafts, and besides it is not my money, it is Rogers’ money, and they can’t count all they have as it is. Go big or go home people. You wanna be the American League B(east)? Then quit whining about not signing overpriced FA’s who will never get better and only worse, and be happy AA spends on things like scouts, instructors, the minor league system, over slot bonuses, and toolsy young FA’s who will be part of the cap slot next year. GEEZ.If AA and the boys like him, sign him, for whatever.  And snatch up that Rivera kid with the 98 mph heater while they are at it.

  29. Zach Britton is injured apparently.

  30.  It always has…and rightfully so

  31. Rogers is a publicly traded company.  So if you have a portfolio of investments in the stock market or RRSP’s, its actually your money, in a sense.

  32. I’m staying overweight cash right now myself, and I don’t favour companies with an inflated price to book. Don’t feel sorry for Rogers and their bottom line. Extrapolate how much more all that (up to now) artificially cheap programming that the Jays generate will be worth when they contend.                                                                                                                       And, did Steinbrenner build the YES network going cheap? Did the Red Sox go cheap to build NES? No, they spent money to make money. The more that the Jays spend wisely, the greater growth and value that brand will be to Rogers. It is what growth companies do.

  33. I am all for signing Soler if he can be had at a decent price.  But I don’t care for fans who complain that Rogers needs to spend money just to keep up with the Jones.  The Yankees and Red Sox are carrying huge contracts right now that is preventing them from making moves, thanks to the luxury tax cap.  Is that where the Blue Jays should be doing, spending to the cap, even when they are not in a position to contend?  That does not make any sense.

  34. Ballsdeep, do you even realize how far from the salary cap the Jays are? It’s almost 100 million away from the Jays current payroll. Is it not possible to argue for a competitively funded baseball opererations?

    Why can’t we have another 20-30 million in payroll for Alex to use and be creative with? This kind of payroll is going to move us into “middle of the pack” teams for payroll. 

  35. Yes but remember that the Jays have been big spenders on the international FA market and have one of the largest scouting departments in MLB.  Those figures don’t show up on the annual payroll list.

    My point is this, we should not complain that we didn’t sign Fielder or even Darvish as neither of these players (or even both of them) would necessarily take this team over the top.  Its foolish to spend money just for the sake of spending money.

  36.  You want to argue that those signings would be bad because of the contract they got, by all means.  But this “wouldn’t take the team over the top” stuff is nonsense.  It’s not like they’re one year contracts.  They’d still be there when you ARE ready.

  37. What, Jorge worry?

  38. Its foolish to spend money just for the sake of spending money.

    Again, what is wrong with having a competitive payroll for Alex to use?

  39.  Not to take this thread in a completely different direction, and way off base from the original topic, but I don’t think the money spent on instructors has been very useful. To me that’s a huge issue with this ball club.

    Their bullpen was so poorly run last year in terms of in game tactics. How did Dotel go from being arguably the worst relief pitcher in baseball to one of the best in St. Louis. To me it had a shit ton to do with his pitch selection, and sequencing. It was vastly different in St, Louis and that’s definitely not a coincidence. Also, How did Rauch and Francisco drop off so incredibly last year? Were Janssen and Villuenava good? Absolutely, but those guys naturally mix up their pitches based on what pitches they possess. I think a lot of this has to fall on Bruce Walton.

    And let`s not forget about Snider`s major drop offs when he reached the majors. How could they not find someone who could get through to him and get him doing the things he was doing in triple A.

    Not saying the sky is falling or anything like that, but I think these things should be talked about and recognized at least.

  40. Press reports out there (well, tweets) seem to think that he’s ready to ink a contract with the Cubs. Who knows.

  41. Age factors in of course in evaluating a player’s potential. But not in a simple he is younger therefote a lower ranked prospect, which is how I read your comment.

  42. Snider was mismanaged, not badly coached. He had injuries too.

    Pat Hentgen left as bullpin coach.

  43. It was also reported in the media how much the players like the coaches too before Farrellball took over.

  44. This is fucking cheese…fail.

  45. Tweets are press reports now??

  46. I haven’t done the math, but remember that you need to include the salary of your 40 man roster when calculating the luxury tax cap, which I think is around $178M for this year.

  47. And that?  Is a really good post.  You’ve made a great point, and we’ve been so obsessed with free agents and grass that we haven’t discussed this.  The coaches definitely need to be looked at.

    In other news, I’m not interested in any further prospect/free agent that AA scouts or sends scouts to scout.  It’s a useless waste of my Blue Jays time. If and when he signs them, then I’ll worry about how good they are.

  48. http://blogs.bettor.com/Jorge-… 

    How poorly written/researched/fact checked is this!!!!

  49. Your comment makes the following assumptions:
    1) The current payroll is capped at 85M2) Given a cap of 105M+, Alex would then be able to go out and acquire players to spend up to this new cap.Let’s assume this occurred, and the team right now were sitting at 105M in payroll.  The players signed to get up to the cap are on multi-year deals, because that is typically needed to acquire such players, assuming you are not generally accepted as serious contenders.  There are not that many significant upgrades that can be had on 1 year deals, and those players are very much a hot commodity and can choose where they go (see Beltran, Oswalt, and perhaps others).  That means that additional payroll would still be there in following years.The Jays are on the hook for 10.15M in raises to signed players right now (Santos, Romero, Janssen, Morrow). This does not include arbitration eligible players (Snider, Rasmus, Litsch, Cecil), who will also be receiving raises.  More extensions or acquiring players may also occur before the end of the season. Sure, some money will come off the books, but those players will need to be replaced or resigned, meaning you can’t just assume it will result in savings for the team (though the bullpen may be cheaper next year with some young arms filling it out).I am not trying to say the money will definitely be there next year, or in the future. All I am saying is that the assumption that there isn’t 20-30M in payroll flexibility now because it is not filled up is just as baseless, and has less evidence than the position that there is that flexibility. To me, it looks more like Alex has chosen to use it to retain the talented core he has put together,  now and in the future, and trying to sign free agents to short term contracts but due to the market was unable to do so.

  50. That may be part of it, but I think Walton still has a lot to do with the game plans for the relief pitchers. The bullpen coach merely helps them prepare for games, but Walton should still be noticing these things, and he still talks to these guys when they come into the dugout after their relief appearance.

    Dotel was mixing in his breaking ball all the time in St. Louis, a pitch I didn’t even know he possessed in Toronto. And it was a really good breaking ball too. All he ever threw in Toronto was fastballs.

    The starting pitching even looked like they could have had better sequencing in certain cases as well. It wasn’t until the end of the year that Morrow decided to mix in a cutter. Perhaps this has something to do with Arencebia, but Walton works with the catchers too.

  51.  Agreed, I’m sick to death of talking about who may be signed etc. I just want to talk about the guys on the team, and what they’re doing right or could be doing differently when the season actually starts. The team we have today is the team that we will have on April 9th.

    I can’t wait for spring training when we get to start micro analyzing the horse race between Snider and Thames, and how d’Arnaud looks, and how much closer the young arms are to cracking the bigs, and how Kelly Johnson is doing, and if there will be a spot on the bench for Davis, and how hard Cecil’s fastball is and if he’s gained back any control with it. The season can’t start soon enough!

  52.  Page not found.

  53. Well, this is pretty ridiculous.  Complete Blue Jays Org Chart, with salaries, arb dates, etc through 2014:

    http://www.mlbdailydish.com/20… 

  54.  My fear with Solar (and for Cespedes for that matter), is that while he has all the tools in the world, like Adeiny Hechavarria, his weakest tool will be the most critical, his lack of ability to hit.

  55. http://tinyurl.com/7a7t5bn
    Try that one on….

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