Phillies one of the finalists for Jorge Soler?

I’m trying to not get too excited, but Jeff Passan, who generally doesn’t make a habit out of rumor mongering, tweeted this

So I’m excited now. I did a writeup on Cespedes and Soler a little while back. BA has a nice in depth scouting report on Soler in this article (subscription required for the full thing), but here is the conclusion:

Soler is athletic for his size and there are reports of him running the 60-yard dash in 6.5 seconds—a time that grades out as well above-average speed—but several scouts have said he’s really an average runner at best, running better underway than down the line. Soler was a tall, slender guy back in 2008 when he played third base for Cuba at the 16U COPABE Pan American Championships in Mexico, but he’s blown up physically since then. Depending on how much bigger he gets, there’s a chance he could end up at first base down the road, but he should be able to handle right field for the near future. Scouts are mixed on his outfield instincts but he does have an above-average arm. He would likely begin his career at one of the Class A levels.

So if you’re the type of person who gets bent out of shape when things don’t go your way, then don’t get excited. But if you like to believe in the best possible scenario unfolding, then get excited that the Phillies are legitimately in the running for this guy.

76 thoughts on “Phillies one of the finalists for Jorge Soler?

  1. Also excited. Never a bad thing to add a talented played to the farm. Gives us another guy to watch and potentially drool over :)

  2. Positive news abounds! Even if they don’t get him (AND THEY BETTER), it shows the Phillies realize the importance of alternate sources of talent than the draft, and that they seem to be willing to do what it takes to get them. Excellent!!

    Now GO GET THEM!

  3. The reputation the Phillies have built over the last 7-8 years has got to outrank the Yankees’ as long as the money is comparable. If there is no “sleeper” coming in, I fell optimistic about the Phils chances.

    And there is the Phils impending TV deal that would gain plenty of “cover” dollars to equalize the Yankee’s own uber tV network.

    It would be a great shot for the franchise.

    1. Art, nice thought about the TV deal equalizing that of the Yankees, but that is unequivocally false as is the Phillies “reputation over the last 7-8 years outranking the Yankees”

  4. This doesn’t add up. Why would the Phillies get into a 20 million dollar bidding war for Solar, but pass up Josh Bell in the draft, who is a similar level prospect for 6 million?

    1. There are three differences.
      1. The Phillies probably didn’t do their homework and assumed that he wouldn’t sign for any amount of money (also they don’t like making splashes in the draft).
      2. The new CBA essentially said that teams have a limited time window to spend before the door shuts (next year the Phils will get maybe 1million to spend).
      3. At the time of the draft the farm system looked much better and they hadn’t just gotten bounced in the first round of the playoffs (desperation is a huge motivator).

        1. In the sense that at least for the first few years (before people learn how to exploit it) talent should come off the board in order of talent (with minor variations for organizational preferences). There will still be high upside raw college guys with college commitments falling but more for the fear of wasting a pick that what it will cost to sign. I don’t think it hurts the Phils too much in how they have drafted recently (staying close to slot early and going over later) because the alottment is for the first 10 rounds.

          The unfortunate thing with amateur signings (draft and international) is that the old rules would have allowed to the Phils to use all of this supposed new TV money without approaching the luxury tax.

    2. Signability was a huge factor with Josh Bell. He was touted as going to college no matter where he was drafted. Education was a high value to both Bell and his family. Then the Pirates offered him 5 million dollars, or more than the Phillies spent on their entire draft.

        1. It won’t go to 30-40 million- one thing some people miss is that Cespedes played in the big-boy industrial league in Cuba, Soler didn’t (except I guess for a few ABs). My guess is something between 20 and 25 million. It’s not like the Phillies to spend like that on amateurs as we all know- but maybe the glow of tv dollars is in someone’s eys in management and someone really believs in this kid that their ready to make one big splash before the new rules even the playing field.

          I think he probably needs at least 2 full years in the minors.

  5. Well I always favored Soler over Cespedes. I just hope if we do get him it doesn’t take too long for him to be major league ready.

  6. If there are two teams bidding, then the Phils are just keeping the Yanks honest. Just makin’ sure that someone doesn’t get him for nothin’. In the Free Agency Market it happens all the time and then sometimes teams beat themselves like Washington did with Werth.

  7. I’m excited but my fear is a mystery team will swoop in like the growing trend over the last 2 years. The favorites to land have come up small.

    1. Well, I never really expected the Phillies to provided huge bonus baby money to an international talent, so I view this is an interesting development that shows me, at the very least, that the team is going to continue to be innovative and aggressive in coming up with new talent. I would say that if they are going to pay in the vicinity of $20-30 million for a six year contract, I would think they would like this guy to hit the big leagues by no later than the end of 2013. By the way, this aggressive move convinces me more than ever that the Phillies are likely to retain Pence or Victorino in the long term, but not both, and will work assiduously (how’s that for an SAT word!) to sign Cole Hamels and they are trying to set things up so they can afford 3 prime of their career aces in the rotation and, my guess, is that the 3 ace model will be intact for the entire time Ruben is GM, with the team grooming young talent to either take over one of those roles or serve as future trade bait for another ace or other star. A lot of the young pitching talent will be traded in the next several years, which is fine, so long as they choose who they trade wisely. I would also love to see them trade young players for other young players in return, as the Yankees did with Pineda. That way, perhaps they could trade pitching talent for middle infield talent or talent behind the plate. We’ll see.

  8. It’s still weird to hear the Phillies mentioned in the same breathe as the Yankees as a sign of negotiations getting expensive. They’re a long way off from the JD Drew days.

  9. 2 Questions:
    1. Can he hit?
    2. Isn’t this all just idle speculation? Aren’t teams still not allowed to even talk to his agent?

  10. In a world where the Athletics of all teams land Cespedes, I’m skeptical of any rumor before it’s official. FWIW, on the BA podcast John Manuel speculated that Soler would land somewhere around 55-75 on his personal top 100. That’s #1 or #2 for the Phillies.

  11. I expect Soler will need 2 years in the minors. He just turned 19 in November. The ideal situation is that he signs a regular minor league contract and just receives a massive signing bonus. That gives the Phillies plenty of time to develop him in the minors without feeling the need to rush him to the majors to get their money’s worth for the initial investment.

    If they do just give him a MLB contract, it has to be for 6 years at a minimum for it to make sense, in my opinion.

    1. So he can move through the organization at a realistic pace? No eating up arb years along the way? No 40 man roster spot for a while? And he might be a 1st baseman by the time he hits the big leagues? That makes him, more likely, Howard’s replacement? I’m just following the bouncing ball. I still think that the likelyhood that the Phils sign him is in the single digits.

            1. Wow. Seriously did you read the entire post. It mentions several different positions, including 3B. Is their a reason you’re being a total prick about it?

  12. One of the guys I follow on Twitter (Goldstein?) said he thought Soler could end up being a better player then Cepedses.

  13. Jim Salisbury was on the radio this morning and implied that $14-18 was where Soler’s value lay and those numbers would be a drastic change in Latin American policy for the Phillies. So my optimism has waned if both Salisbury and Passan are to be taken at their words – if Soler is going to eventually cost north of $20 million, I can’t see the Phillies being in that race.

    1. Salisbury during that call was just offering conjecture, the guy who wrote this article has 2 sources (who’s information is undoubtably more recent then anything salisbury may or may not have). I agree it’s not “likely” (as in >50%), but there is a very real possibility that it will happen.

  14. The overwhelming skepticism is astounding. Guys, phillies are a finalist in the lottery, we’re told there are only two teams, but lets say for arguments sake there are 3. Now, since the price of signing him is so high, lets say we’ll base the odds on current MLB payroll. Yankee’s – Favorites, Phillies – 2nd – Club X – 3rd by quite a bit (by virtue of having less payroll then the phillies and also being unknown). Based on this calc, I’d say yankee’s 55%, Phillies 30% and Other 15%.

    Of course this the above is all fun and games, but to think “phillies have no shot” or a “single digit chance” at signing him, is as obsurd as thinking my above formula is accurate.

    There’s a “good” chance the phillies will sign him, will it happen, who knows, but it’s definately a very real possibility.

    1. My “single-digit” response was based on my own gut feeling and not a statistical model with embedded algorithms or super-computer threaded statistic models. I could get those for you, if you want.

  15. I’m always interested in seeing new talent added to the farm system. However, this just doesn’t make sense to me. Over the past few years, the Phillies have let some high school and college draft picks walk that they could have signed in the $250k – $500k range, in many cases, not even making an offer. Would that same team spend more than their entire draft budget on a single player?

    And I realize that Soler is being talked about as a high level talent, but he is also 19 years old. Whatever the number he is looking for, it is a lot of risk to put in the hands of one player.

    1. This guy is graded out as top 5 talent in last year’s draft. The Phils haven’t and don’t plan to have a top 5 pick anytime soon (hopefully). This may be their one oppurtunity to sign a blue chip.

  16. Nothing would surprise me but looking deeper this could create a major PR distraction. Suppose they do land him at a number of $20 Million plus you just avoided arbitration with Cole at a cost of $15 Million.

    If I’m Cole I view that as slight #2 after the Lee deal no?

    1. The 15 mill is for one year—–the 20 million is for multiple years. We will need talent to keep pitchers coming and staying. Pitching for teams that can’t score is a very frustrating experience.

    2. Nothing the Phillies have done to date would be any kind of slight towards Hamels.

      Signing Lee as a FA is meaningless in regards to Hamels who was still in his arbitration years and signing Solar would also have nothing to do with him.

      Hamels only future complaint would be if the Phillies refuse to offer him a fair market deal and claim they don’t have any money.

  17. On philly.com -
    “Our scouts have seen him and we like him,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said Thursday. “It may come down to where he wants to play and, of course, the money.”
    Soler.
    The baseball source said the Phillies have remained in close contact with Soler and his agents since the young outfielder defected. Representatives from the Phillies have even taken him to dinner on several occasion/

    1. While Soler makes for an interesting projection if actually acquired by the Phils, one good note may be the Pirates have apparently acquired Burnett today which means the Yankees will have freed up some cash to sign Ibanez and another player (the constantly broken 3B ex A’s). What is good news is that IF THEY SIGN RAUUUUUL, which appears likely (???) that means the RAJ’s get the # 54 pick in the June draft.

          1. Thanks for the clarification/correction. I totally missed that. I was still in a coma at that time, after the team got bounced in the first round.

  18. Soler turns 20 next week and already listed at 225 lbs (102 kg)….he keeps getting bigger every time i read about him somewhere.

    1. Correction….one site now lists him at 180 lbs and DOB as 11/25/91. Another site has him at 225 lbs and DOB 2/25/92….does anybody have actual vitals on this guy?

  19. Donald Trump is looking into, results to be broadcast on Sunday night’s season premiere of Celebrity Apprentice.

  20. If you are going to spend $ that won’t be allocated against the cap (loosely defined) this is a good way to go. As for the TV contract it is up in 15. There have been rumblings that Comcast wants to get a new deal signed earlier (for boat loads of cash btw) than 15 to prevent the Phils from even thinking about their own network. The Padres with an audience that is fractional when compared to the Phils, just signed a huge TV deal.

    1. The Angels just signed a deal that gives them $150M a year…I think we can easily match that if not better.

      Money should not be an issue at all.

      1. Phillies are a consistent top 5 team for TV ratings, while Angels are consistently in the bottom 5. The Phillies contract should dwarf the one the Angels just signed. The question is whether they should a) wait til 2015 because the market is only bound to go up b) sign an early contract as a showing of good faith with Comcast or c) create their own network.

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