It’s taken longer than anyone could have reasonably expected, but 20-year-old Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler was finally declared a free agent by Major League Baseball over the weekend and is free to sign with any team.
Soler comes in at 6-foot-4 and 225-pounds and is much more raw than Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, but over time some think that he could potentially be even better than his countryman. Various rumors attached the Yankees to him during the offseason, but now that he’s finally a free agent the Yankees are said to still be interested in him, according to Dan Martin of the NY Post.
The new collective bargaining agreement puts restrictions on how much international free agents can sign for starting July 2nd. So expect Soler to sign with somebody before then. A source told George King of the NY Post that Soler’s agent expects all interested teams to have their bids in for him by this Thursday which should be plenty of time for teams to iron out the contract details before he has to worry about MLB limiting how much he can make.
Expectations are that he will sign for around five-years and $15 million. The Yankees have been cool to a lot of big name international free agents lately, but considering that he’s still young and they have struggled big time with one outfielder out this season and another is set to become a free agent at the end of the year it could force them to be a bit more aggressive.
Right handed pitcher Armando Rivero, lefty Omar Luis, and outfielders Henry Urrutia and Gerald Sanchez were four other Cuban born players declared as free agents by MLB over the weekend too.