According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Royals and Cubs have struck a deal that will send Soler to the Royals for closer Wade Davis, pending physicals. Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball confirmed the report.
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal noted the deal would be a one-for-one swap with no other players involved.
The 24-year-old Soler has been lost in the shuffle with the Cubs. Once the No. 12-rated prospect in all of the minors by Baseball America before the 2015 season (via Baseball-Reference.com), Soler has appeared in just 211 MLB games in three years.
Though he has a large frame and a lot of potential, the Cuban defector didn't make his road to the majors any easier with some of his antics. According to Fox Sports' Mauricio Rubio, "He was benched for not hustling, and in a separate incident he ran toward an opposing dugout with a bat."
After a limited debut in 2014 that included 97 plate appearances, he yielded underwhelming numbers in 2015 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI in 101 games.
Still, he had an opportunity to gain regular starting time in 2016 when Kyle Schwarber went down with a torn ACL and LCL and did just that from April to June as the Cubs' go-to left fielder.
But in 50 games, he batted just .223 with five home runs and 13 RBI before a hamstring injury sidelined him for almost two months.
To make the timing worse, Soler was batting .318 in the 17 games prior to the injury, per ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
With a rotation of contributors to pick up the slack in left while fellow youngsters Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Javier Baez became household names during the Cubs' first World Series title since 1908, Soler remained stagnant upon his return. He finished the season with a .238 batting average with 12 home runs and 31 RBI.
However, he still made some solid contributions to the Cubs' run toward the postseason:
Though he still has the potential to become a star in the big leagues, the Cubs decided to take the opportunity to sell high on Soler in order to land a top-tier closer.
Davis has been an All-Star the past two seasons and could be a nice replacement for Aroldis Chapman if he does in fact walk in free agency this winter.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.