Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Cubs could actually be getting quite the bargain in the long run with the signing:
hear there were a few -- at least 3 or 4 -- teams over $20M on soler. but #cubs stepped up. right about $30M is the number.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) June 11, 2012
Soler deal makes great sense for #cubs. get a 2nd cornerstone type player to go with castro. and for NINE years (and $30M).— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) June 11, 2012
But Soler to the Cubs makes a lot of sense. Heyman is right—the future pairing of Starlin Castro and Soler could be a devastating duo in the middle of the Cubs lineup for years to come.
Likely play right field at the next level, Soler already measures at 6'3", 225 pounds and has five-tool potential in the big leagues.
One thing is for certain—Soler won't have the immediate big-league impact of a Yoenis Cespedes or Yu Darvish. While Soler's potential seems too promising to label him a project, he is not as MLB-ready as the above players were when they signed with the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers, respectively.
With Castro, Soler and big-time prospect Anthony Rizzo (currently hitting .363 with 20 home runs and 53 RBI in Triple-A), the Cubs have a dangerous core of young hitters to look forward to for years to come.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets really wanted to have another.