A few odds and ends to recap from today, including some draft signings:
*As per Ben Nicholson-Smith at MLB trade rumours the Blue Jays announced that they signed first round draft pick D.J. Davis. The team also announced the signing of supplementary first round selections Mitchell Nay and Tyler Gonzales. Davis obtained a $1.75MM bonus, Jim Callis of Baseball America reports (Twitter links). Nay obtained a bonus of $1MM, Callis reports.
The Blue Jays chose Davis, a high school outfielder, with the 17th overall selection. They chose Nay, a high school third baseman, with the 58th overall selection as compensation for losing Jon Rauch then, two picks later, chose Gonzales, a high school right-hander, as compensation for losing Jose Molina.
MLB recommends a bonus of $2MM for the 17th overall selection, and recommends bonuses of $884K and $857K for the 58th and 60th selections, respectively. The Blue Jays have now signed 22 of their 44 selections plus seven non-drafted free agents.
*Ken Rosenthal reports Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster and Bryan LaHair are all in play as the trade deadline nears, Rosenthal notes (on Twitter). The Cubs could look to supplement their core of young players by dealing established Major Leaguers for controllable players this summer.
The Blue Jays would have to be interested in both Garza and Dempster should the price be right,
*MLB trade rumours reports that the Chicago Cubs have won the bidding for free agent Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler.
5:30pm: Heyman adds another caveat to Soler’s deal (Twitter link). Soler will be allowed to opt out of the agreed-upon salaries and go to arbitration once he is eligible. That scenario would likely push the total value of the deal beyond $30MM.
1:48pm: Soler and the Cubs agreed to a nine-year deal worth approximately $30MM, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. At least three or four teams placed bids of $20MM plus, according to Heyman. Depending on how long Soler spends at the minor league level, the deal could cover all of his arbitration seasons and multiple free agent years.
Soler can opt out of his yearly salaries and file for arbitration once eligible, ESPN.com’s Keith Law reports. As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains, this means Soler could earn more than $30MM with the Cubs.
Soler has to sign by July 2 if he aims to maximize his earning potential and avoid spending restrictions imposed under baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement. It’s not clear what kind of bonus the Praver Shapiro Sports Management client will obtain from the Cubs, but a sum in excess of $15MM would not be surprising.
MLB declared Soler a free agent earlier this month after verifying his paperwork. The Phillies have since offered him a contract and the Astros, Pirates, Indians, Red Sox, Yankees and Blue Jays also appeared to have some level of interest in the 20-year-old.
Soler was an up-and-coming power hitter in Cuba before leaving the country, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. His calling card is right-handed power, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America, who considers him a top-50 prospect in MLB.