I believe the Cubs should go after a Cuban outfielder. But not Jorge Soler.
Yoenis Cespedes, who was recently granted free agency, is a more polished player than Soler at 26 years old.
Cespedes, playing in the Cuban League, hit 33 home runs and drove in 99 in 90 games last season while posting a .424 OBP—a number that translates to the type of player Esptein typically likes.
Cespedes is a more sure thing than Soler, and can immediately contribute for the Cubs. With Cespedes, it would give the Cubs flexibility in moving Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano to make room for top prospect Brett Jackson and Cespedes.
While Byrd is a great teammate and a fan favorite, he is not a middle-of-the-order bat, and that's the role he is playing in Chicago. He will earn $5.5 million this season, a year after hitting nine homers and driving in 35 while hitting mostly in the middle of the order.
That's not exactly the production manager Dale Sveum is looking for.
Yes, Cespedes is expected to cost more than Soler. As previously stated, Soler is reportedly seeking around $20 million, while Cespedes is looking for more in the $50-$60 million dollar range, according to ESPN's Bruce Levine.
But investing $30 million more and seeing immediate results is better than investing $20 million dollars just to develop a player. By the time Soler reaches his potential, his contract will be over and he will be looking for even more money.
Cespedes is the way to go.