Bids are expected to be finalized and submitted today for 20-year old Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler. Soler is 6-3, 205-pounds and some scouts see Soler as a 5-tool player with power comparable to Giancarlo Stanton. In March it was rumored that the Cubs had an agreement with Soler for $27MM. However the Cubs denied the rumors as Soler was not an eligible free agent. What about the Red Sox? Could they spend over $27MM on this prospect?
Derek already touched on Soler but him and have a different opinion on the matter. Part of me says yes, go for it Boston. Soler isn’t going to be in the majors immediately. I expect him to spend the year in the minors before playing for a major league team. Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are the exceptions not the rule. After this season the Red Sox will be looking for a right fielder or they could start planning for a potential Jacoby Ellsbury vacancy. Look at the outfielders the Red Sox have developed lately. Ellsbury is great, one of the better outfielders in the league when he’s on the field. But who else is there? Remember when Brandon Moss was a high prospect? Yeah, he has 14 at bats this season in the anemic Athletic offense. There’s Josh Reddick, a decent outfielder this year, but can he keep it up? He already has more home runs this year than the rest of his career combined. His SLUG% is almost 70 points higher than his career average. Although his BAbip is around his career average he’s almost .100 over his career OBP. And let’s not forget Ryan Kalish who has been injured so hasn’t had a chance to show us much but has potential. My point is that the Red Sox haven’t developed much power in the outfield. So why not bring in a young outfielder with huge upside.
When it comes down to the Red Sox roster, McDonald, Nava, or Podsednik will not stand in the way of a hot prospect. A few of those names might not even be on the roster in a month. So if next season Soler is ready for the bigs, finding room for him won’t be an issue.
Here’s the downside. The Red Sox have to be able to sign Ellsbury. If signing Soler means that they can’t resign Ellsbury then forget it. However, there is a chance that Ellsbury and Scott Boras will price the speedy outfielder out of Boston. Wouldn’t you like the have a young stud of an outfielder ready to replace him?
During the offseason I wrote that I’d prefer paying the price that Soler could cost as opposed to the price that Yoenis Cespedes cost. By the time that Crawford is in his late 30s, Soler will be hitting his prime. I like that timing and I’d like the chance to get some youth on this roster that can make an impact as a majority of the Boston stars are on the dowslope.