Cuban outfield sensation Jorge Soler was finally declared a free agent by Major League Baseball on Saturday, and the youngster is looking to get paid, and now.
According to ESPNChicago's Bruce Levine, Soler's agents, Praver-Shapiro Sports Management, are requesting teams to have their bids for the 19-year-old star submitted by June 7.
Soler is considered to have five-tool potential. At 6'3" and 200 pounds, Soler likely projects as a right fielder with considerable power, a strong accurate throwing arm, and speed to burn on the basepaths.
Soler's agents will want Soler signed before July 2 in order to avoid being penalized under the new tax regulations and sanctions that are part of the new collective bargaining agreement.
There is no doubt that a number of teams will be submitting bids for Soler's services, with his agents referring to their young star prospect as providing "Soler Power."
Here are 10 MLB teams that are very interested in Soler's services.
This past offseason, it had been rumored that the Chicago Cubs offered Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler a contract worth $27 million. However, those rumors were unfounded, as the MLB hadn't yet declared Soler a free agent.
It seems likely that Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is still very interested and will likely tender another offer. But with the bidding that is going to develop, $27 million may not be enough this time around.
According to Rob Biertempfel, the Pirates beat writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Bucs are very interested in the services of Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler.
However, Biertempfel tweeted that the Pirates won't deviate from their overall plan and are not prepared to offer Soler a contract similar to the one received by fellow Cuban Yoenis Cespedes, who signed with the Oakland A's for four years and $36 million.
Count the free-spending New York Yankees as a team definitely interested in acquiring the services of the latest Cuban sensation.
The Yankees were considered frontrunners back in December for Soler. While Soler is likely a couple of years away from the majors, he could serve as a replacement for Nick Swisher in right field.
Jorge Soler and Giancarlo Stanton together in the outfield for the Miami Marlins?
The Miami Marlins have an outstanding power hitter already in Giancarlo Stanton. They may be looking to add another.
According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the Marlins will likely be in on the bidding for Soler as well. Spencer cites a source who said that the Fish love Soler's power, comparing him favorably to Stanton.
The Houston Astros enjoyed a pretty special day on Monday, selecting Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa with the first overall pick in the 2012 MLB draft.
Could they also be in the running for the Cuban outfielder?
Astros GM Jeff Luhnow certainly didn't rule it out. Luhnow told MLB.com reporter Brian McTaggart that the Astros were exploring the option.
"It would be safe to say that we're looking into it," Luhnow said. "We like the player, and it's just a matter of how much competition there is going to be and where it's going to end up, but we're definitely looking into it."
Could GM Ben Cherington still have interest in Soler?
The Boston Red Sox did not appear to be players in the bidding for Yoenis Cespedes this past offseason. However, they do appear to be very interested in Jorge Soler.
Reports last February had the Sox high on Soler, and that interest likely hasn't waned. No official statement has come out of Boston regarding the Red Sox' current interest in the free agent, but it certainly appears that if the interest was there four months ago, it's still there today.
Cuban Dayan Viciedo has found a home on the South Side. Could Jorge Soler settle there as well?
The Chicago White Sox have been very successful in recent years in signing and developing Cuban-born players. Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo have become vital cogs in the White Sox offense, so fellow Cuban Jorge Soler could very well be an attraction for the White Sox as well.
ESPN Chicago cites numerous sources who say the White Sox will definitely be involved in the bidding.
The Toronto Blue Jays under GM Alex Anthopoulos have never been inclined to throwing big money at free agents, preferring instead to build the team through trades and the draft. However, might Anthopoulos change his mindset concerning Soler?
The Jays were clearly interested last February, when Anthopoulos and other Blue Jays officials worked Soler out at their complex in the Dominican Republic.
Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. figures to be all-in on the Soler sweepstakes.
Now that the Cuban outfielder has officially been declared a free agent, teams who were reported to have interest in the past will likely be interested again. The Philadelphia Phillies are one of those teams.
According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Phillies are likely to be one of the suitors this time around as well.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports also believes the Phillies will go hard after Soler.
No surprise, but the two teams in hardest on Jorge Soler right now are the Yankees and Phillies, two sources say. This will get expensive.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 16, 2012
A future outfield tandem of Adam Jones and Jorge Soler is a tempting thought in Baltimore.
New Baltimore Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette is considered a strong evaluator of international talent. As such, Duquette is likely very interested in Soler's services.
The Orioles were scheduled to work out Soler last February following a similar workout with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Imagine an outfield consisting of Adam Jones and Soler. Very nice.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle. Follow Doug on Twitter, @Sports_A_Holic.