Monday, June 11, 2012
New York, NY – After taking a back seat while other teams chased international stars such as Yu Darvish and Yoenis Cespedes, the New York Yankees are making a strong push to land Cuban defector Jorge Soler, sources confirmed.
Teams were expected to make their final bids Sunday night for the 20-year-old outfielder, with a decision expected to come as soon as Monday. He is expected to get a four-year deal that could be worth $20 million.
It sounds like the Yankees are making a pretty strong push for Soler. He’s probably at least two years away from being a contributor in MLB, but the Yankees certainly have a need for outfielders with Nick Swisher’s contract up after this year and Curtis Granderson’s up after 2013. Soler’s likely to be the last international free agent that will be signed before MLB’s newly imposed limit on signing bonuses for them takes place, so the bidding could get pretty high. The Cubs are considered the favorites from most of what I’ve read, but hopefully the Yankees snag him.
Body: Very physical (6-3, 200) with explosive strength and athleticism. Muscular but maintains flexibility and shows fast-twitch ability. Plus athlete.
Power: Arguably the highlight of his game. True plus-plus raw power to the pull side, along with the strength to drive the ball out the opposite way.
Arm: Classic right field arm. Gets rid of it quickly with plenty of velocity and good carry on all throws.
Summation: Truly classic right field profile. Offers plus-plus raw power that has a chance to translate if the hit tool comes together. Good athlete with an impressive body. Runs well in the outfield and should be a plus defender with a plus arm. Many of the nuances of the game are in various stages of development and he will require refinement for all his tools to play at once in the US. Raw ceiling could be a .275-.280 hitter with 30 home runs in the heart of the lineup, all with very good outfield defense.
Sounds good to me.
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