Sunday, February 19, 2012

On Making Cody Ross Sweat It Out

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Now that Yoenis Cespedes is in Oakland, all eyes on the international scene have turned to 19-year old Cuban wonderboy Jorge Soler. He's 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, and looks to be either a firstbaseman or most likely, an outfielder.


Wait for it...

The Red Sox need a rightfielder.

Sure sure, they have World Series superhero Cody Ross, and Ryan Sweeney whom they grabbed in the Andrew Bailey deal from Oakland (among others) to man the position for now, but Ben Cherington has got to be thinking about other, more long term solutions (will Ryan Kalish ever get healthy?).

The Cubs last week had been rumored to have a deal in place for Soler--on the day Cespedes signed no less--but that somehow fell through. It's possible his fellow Cuban's contract changed his mind on the whole thing. Other than Chicago, the Blue Jays, Phillies, White Sox, and Yankees have all been mentioned as contenders for his services.

So what about Boston? Here's the latest on the situation from the Globe's Nick Cafardo:

"Jorge Soler, OF, free agent - The Red Sox are one of about eight teams that would love to land the Cuban outfielder. Some of those who elected to stay away on Yoenis Cespedes because of the hefty price and uncertainty about how his game translates to the majors have decided that Soler is a better value, because he has more upside and can be put in the development system for a while for seasoning. Soler is not yet available because of citizenship issues, but once he is, those teams might be in for sticker shock. Two general managers have told me that he will go for more than the five years and $15 million-$20 million most thought he’d settle for."

Clearly, as with Cespedes, any sort of logical projections for Soler would be about as legitimate as alchemy at this point, even Bill James can't save us on this one. In addition, his citizenship status in the Dominican hasn't been established as of yet, so it may be a while before he hits a major league camp.

Despite that, major league scouts are excited about him, and there seems to be a bidding war 'a-brewin.

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