As we’re well aware of by now, the Jays– thanks to their all-encompassing no comment policy when it comes to anything resembling a transaction– have their name dragged into the mix for just about any player available and sought after by MLB clubs, and apparently that’s no different when it comes to the last international amateur free agent to hit the market before the CBA changes, Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler (not pictured, since most pictures purportedly of him appear to be mislabelled).

Take it away, Jon Heyman…

Of course, simply dismissing these rumors as the product of the ability for anybody to claim that the Jays are involved, without it being shot down by the club, would be a bit premature, I think.

We know that the Jays have viewed the amateur free agent market as a cost-effective way to acquire assets, and that they’ve dipped in it to sign high-profile Cuban Adeiny Hechavarria, and came up just short on Aroldis Chapman. We also know that Alex Anthopoulos watched Soler work out back in February.

Heyman wrote yesterday afternoon at CBS Sports that a decision is expected from Soler’s camp “within the next 24-36 hours,” which means within the next twelve hours or so from now. He said then as well that the Jays are in the mix, though he noted that the Cubs have reportedly been very high on Soler, and have long been thought of as the favourites.

This morning at Getting Blanked, Parkes explained the CBA changes that have made Soler the subject of the last big amateur free agent bidding war, while adding some explanation of why teams are so keen on him, by way of Baseball Prospect Nation, who say he “offers plus-plus raw power that has a chance to translate if the hit tool comes together. Good athlete with an impressive body. Runs well in the outfield and should be a plus defender with a plus arm. Many of the nuances of the game are in various stages of development and he will require refinement for all his tools to play at once in the US. Raw ceiling could be a .275-.280 hitter with 30 home runs in the heart of the lineup, all with very good outfield defense.”

Over the weekend at Getting Blanked, Travis Reitsma added some words from Kevin Goldstein and Jason Parks on this week’s Up and In podcast, which basically reiterate the above report.

I think we’ve learned not to get our expectations up when it comes to making a big splash on any free agent market, but I’d wager there’s a non-zero chance that the Jays genuinely are interested and might surprise us on this one– of course, I base that on completely nothing, and it’s more than most likely not going to happen. Something to watch, at least.

Update: Aaaaaaand apparently it’s the Cubs. According to a tweet from Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Update the second: Aaaaaaaand Heyman tweets that the deal is for nine years. Nine years!!!?!!?! Can that possibly be right? If so, y’know, to every twat pissing and moaning that here again the Jays have failed to spend money, um… NINE YEARS. But… that can’t possibly be right. Can it? (Note: it is.)

Comments (55)

  1. This just in, Kevin Gray is reporting that the Jays definitely, with no doubt in his mind, absolutely might have won the bidding on Jorge Soller. Definitively maybe.

  2. I’ll be stunned if the Jays lead the market for the services of a player looking for an 8 figure bonus.

    • Hechavarria.

      • 30,000,000 > 10,000,000

      • To be fair Hech’s bonus was only 4 mil….as part of a 10 mil package, lol. But still, bonus only 4 mil.

      • I said 8-figures to exclude Hechavarria but yes, technically the Jays guaranteed Hechavarria 8-figures. The obvious implication was the Jays haven’t led the market for the services of any player above 10m under the AA regime.

        • They were into the $20m+ range for Chapman.

        • Last chance they’ll have to do it thou.

          I dunno, I could see them looking at the IFA bonus pool (almost certainly less then what they’d spend of their own free will) and saying to themselves that they may as well make a big purchase now and consider the amount that they’d paid over what they’d normally offer as just being debited from future years.

        • Yeah, I knew what you meant.

          But the Jays haven’t really been cheap with these kind of guys before in AA’s time.

          By all indications they had free reign to go hard after Chapman. And while 10 mil is obviously much less than 25, Hech wasn’t exactly cheap.

    • I agree in general. But the wild card here is the fact that this is the last call on unrestricted amateur FA spending.

      • I guess… but some teams might be thinking “Fuck spending all this money, I’ll just wait til the next guy comes a long and get him for way less”

        • “Fuck spending all this money, I’ll just sign a bunch of 19-year-olds for nothing and then put my marketing department to work convincing everyone they’re the next coming of Ruth and Gehrig”

          –Rogers Communications

          • Yeah. Instead of restocking the farm system with a bunch of highly regarded Latin guys, it would have been way smarter to spend five times that money on a killer free agent like Jason Bay or Carl Crawford.

            That’s what you want to do at the beginning of a rebuild!

        • But what happens after July 2 really has no baring on Soler… it’s not like the team that get’s Soler won’t have as much of a chance to get “the next guy that omes along” as the team that passed on him waiting for “the next guy”.

          Not a zero-sum game.

    • Except that they paid Hech 10 mil and were willing to go 25 on Chapman.Also this is the last before the new CBA kicks in.
      Reports were that Soler might be better than Cepedes based on scouts who have seen both play.
      How reliable is all that? Dunno. And is AA willing to spend, when he isn’t sure he might have somebody better already in the system?

      • Willing to go to 25m on Chapman? Says who? Don’t believe it.

        • ignorance is bliss

        • @ NYJ

          Thought it was pretty widely reported with Chapman at 25 mil. Even AA quoted as saying one of the few regrets during his time as GM was not going higher to get him.

          • Nobody reputable ever put a number on what the Jays offered Chapman as far as I’m aware.

            It’s like the Darvish situation, where a whole world of misinformation leads people to believe that things happened which may have never occurred.

          • That it was “widely reported” means nothing. No bid was ever tabled – Jays are pally with Hendricks and did them a favour by bidding up a client.

          • @ NYJ

            “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. ”


            • I regret not buying Apple stock 15 years ago when it was dogshit. That doesn’t mean that I was actively bidding for stock at the time, or even that I had any money to buy stock if I had wanted to.

              Have to suspect that’s what’s going on here. It’s easy to say, yeah that would have been a sweet deal, conveniently not mentioning that they might not even have been bidding. Even if they did go up to 25, that’s not particularly close to 30 and there were tons of other teams involved, so who knows whether it was in good faith or just for show.

              Anyway, certainly shocking news that once again the Jays chose not to spend money to try to fill a position of need.

        • I’ll google and see if I can find it, but I’m almost positive I can recall AA saying they were very close on Chapman.

    • Is this supposed to say more about you or the Jays?

  3. i’m not sure how i feel about winning a bidding war to give a 4 year contract to a 20 year old. cespedes was a different animal. soler is probably just starting to sniff the majors by the end of his contract.

    • That is not how it works. The 4 year deal kicks in after his major league debut. Same as with Hech who I think is also on a 4 year deal.

      • Soler’s 4 year contract has no bearing on his 6 years of team control at the MLB level.

      • That’s not how it works at all… If Hech doesn’t seen the MLB by the end of that 4 year contract, he goes to a MiLB contract… He gets 4 years of being paid based on that contract, then he goes to standard baseball contracts…

        Hech gets paid $10M for his first 4 years in the system, then he is subject to standard baseball rules, arbitration, rule 5, option years etc… all standard rules for non MLB players…

    • glad i’m not running the international scouting office.

  4. Typo in Heyman’s tweet–I believe he meant to say the Jays have a lot of “4th OF” prospects.

    I mean seriously, what corner OF “prospects”? Thames? Utter shit. Snider? Made of glass. Sierra? Thames v2.

    Soler would fit incredibly well and would cost nothing other than money. So, no chance. But looking forward to AA refusing to even admit whether or not the Jays were ever involved.

  5. Sure, why not. who’s to say if the kid will be good enough or not.

  6. Not sure if this has been confirmed by anyone else but I got this from MLB Trade Rumors, stating that the Cubs won the bidding:

    “The Cubs won the bidding for Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter). The Yankees, Phillies and Dodgers were among the many teams linked to Soler, a top international prospect.”

  7. Meh that $20 or 30 million can be spent better at the major league level going forward imo. I’d rather have spent $13 or $14 million on a Beltran type and $10 million good veteran starter. This team is going to need more pieces like Beltran than they are Soler types if we’re believers in the plan. We’ve got the good prospect base, now it’s time to fill the holes with good everyday players to push us into the playoffs.

    • Except the Beltran types– like specifically Beltran– may not want to come here.

      • Naturally, but at least the money is available all the same. If it was a year or two ago I would have liked to see them go hard on a guy like Soler. Now with the pitching coming along (starters that is) and guys like Rasmus and Lawrie getting going, adding the right veteran here and there seems to be the next logical step.

  8. soler will surely eclipse previous contracts.

  9. I will always hate frasor for having that hot a wife.

  10. 9 years, 30m… or less than what bj ryan made over the 3 years he sucked.

    • He had one of the best relief seasons in Blue Jays history… He was terrible outside of that one awesome year, but he might be the best single season reliever in Jays history…

      But he wasn’t worth $47M…

  11. 30 million for 9 years isn’t that bad; it would cover all arb and a couple free agent years.
    Soler just has to be an avg player; to be worth 30 million over nine years.

  12. How does a guy with plus plus power only have a ceiling of 30hr, how many plus do u need to actually be a beast power hitter in the MLB?

    • 30 HRs is pretty much the edge of plus plus… there are what… 5-10 players TOPS that hit 30 HRs per year?

      30 is plus plus, it’s the low end of plus plus, but it is on that level…

  13. #others ? just in case anyone did a twitter search for ‘others’.. or maybe it would be nice to see ‘others’ trending for once

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