All offseason long we’ve heard about Yoennis Cespedes from his Ahman Green lead workouts to his flailing and homering during the Winter League competition. Â The Marlins have reportedly put in an offer to Cespedes meaning his signing is soon coming to a close and while it likely won’t be the Royals landing the physical outfielder perhaps Kansas City should be looking in another Cuban direction.
That player the Royals should and could be looking at is Jorge Soler the 20 year old outfielder from Cuba. Â Soler a star on the Cuban under 18 team has drawn many comparisons to 1st round pick Bubba Starling as an extremely physical outfielder with big tools and large potential. Â Jorge at 6’3 205 lbs brings a full toolbox to the game with big time power potential, a fast bat, a big arm and current speed. Â Basically he is a 1st round pick who would probably be listed comparably with any of the current top five potentials in the upcoming 2012 draft. Â While Soler has big tools and draws comparisons to Bubba he is probably a better comp to last years toolsy draft centerfielder George Springer with a tad more talent but similar in that they are both further down the development path and should probably start in A ball, likely High A. Â With changes in the draft and international rules the Royals as well as other teams have an opportunity to land an uber talent without taking a large hit financially.
What is it gonna cost? Â Considering the Cubs gave Gerardo Concepcion, a soft throwing version of Noel Arguelles (or current velocity Noel) $7 million and that the Marlins are said to have offered Cespedes somewhere in the ballpark of $40 million then Soler’s money is likely gonna fall in the $20-25 million range. Â Noel Arguelles received 5 years and 6.9 million from the Royals so considering the same 5 year commitment then you are looking at $4 to $5Million dollars per year. Â With a payroll in the ballpark of 57M this season and a draft budget south of $10M and international budget of $3.5M Kansas City can afford that money and keep their total budget in the $75 million dollar range. Â Losses like Broxton, Yuni and Sanchez off next years budget and hopes of winning and increased ticket revenue higher draft slots with less money allocated to them in the future make signing Soler within range for the Royals.
Cuban players haven’t panned out for most teams like planned but Soler and his tools represent a risk worth taking for the Royals and with the recent signings of Arguelles, Yem Prades and Roman Hernandez JorrinÂ ownership and management has shown plenty of interest in players from that country. Â Anytime Kansas City has an opportunity to build from within so they can add to the possible major league roster down the road or be used as trade pieces then they should do it, especially when the cost is at such a small price.
The list of player who have been signed (or have agreed to sign) from the DPL in 2012 is:
1.Â Â Â Â Â Yairo Munoz, SS, $280,000, OAK
2.Â Â Â Â Â Ignacio Valdez, OF, $260,000, DET
3.Â Â Â Â Â Michael Santos, RHP, $250,000, SF
4.Â Â Â Â Â Santana, OF, $210,000, HOU
5.Â Â Â Â Â Wascar Rodriguez, OF, $160,000, NYY
6.Â Â Â Â Â Ronniel Demorizi, SS, $105,000, TOR
7.Â Â Â Â Â Bryan Pena, C, $100,000, CLE
8.Â Â Â Â Â Branly Crisotomo, RHP, $98,500, KC
9.Â Â Â Â Â Melvin Tejada, RHP, $80,000, MIL
10.Â Luis Castillo, RHP, $80,000, AZ
11.Â Reudi Reyes, RHP, $75,000, MIN
12.Â Tomas Lopez, RHP, $70,000, HOU
13.Â Franly Figueroa, LHP, $70,000, CHC
14.Â Angel Heredia, $50,000, HOU
15.Â Oliver Asencio, LHP, $40,000, SEA
16.Â Aneudy Osoria, RHP,$40,000, MIA
17.Â Victor Cabral, OF, $25,000, CLE
18.Â Sandy Garces, LHP, $22,000, KC