Cubs will make strong bid for Cuban OF prospect Jorge Soler
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org June 6, 2012 11:08PM
Cubs right fielder David DeJesus argues a strike call with plate umpire Mike Everitt on Wednesday night. | Scott Boehm~Getty Images
Cubs at Brewers
The facts: 1:10, CSN, 720-AM.
The pitchers: Matt Garza (3-4, 4.10 ERA) vs. Randy Wolf (2-5, 6.05).
Updated: July 8, 2012 7:02PM
MILWAUKEE — On the day the Cubs concluded the three-day draft, they also turned their sights back toward Cuban outfield prospect Jorge Soler, who worked out for many teams — including the Cubs — on Wednesday.
“We’ve obviously scouted him extensively; a lot of teams have,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “We had a similar situation with [Yoenis] Cespedes this winter. It’ll be intriguing. But certainly we’ve done our work on him.”
Sources said in November that the Cubs targeted Soler, 20, more than Cespedes, who eventually signed a four-year deal with the Athletics for the same $36 million the Cubs were offering over six years.
Soler, a defector who became an eligible free agent this month, has until July 2 to sign a deal before baseball’s new restrictions on international free-agent signings take effect. Teams were asked to make bids by Thursday, with the Cubs expected to be among the more aggressive.
“Judging from all the information we’ve gathered and articles I’ve read, I think [the field of interested teams] is very wide,” Hoyer said. “It’s not surprising. He’s really talented. And there is that July 2 uniqueness that adds to it.”
A ‘Sveum guy’
After loading up on pitching through much of the draft, the Cubs found a time and place to take a corner infielder with a familiar name out of Desert Mountain High School in the Phoenix area.
“It’s one of those proud days,” said Cubs manager Dale Sveum, whose son, Rustin , was drafted in the 39th round. “I called him, actually. He was just watching the draft, and I told him to keep an eye open, and he ended up getting drafted. He let out a big scream.”
Rustin plans to attend Dixie State College in Utah with an eye toward developing enough to make a serious run at pro ball.
“He’d better not sign anyway. He’d better go to college,” Dale said, adding with a smile, “unless the money’s right.”
Uh-oh. Is Rustin a Scott Boras guy like the Cubs’ top pick, Albert Almora? “No, he’s a Sveum guy,” Dale said.
The Cubs used 22 of their 42 picks on pitchers, including 13 of their first 19.
“It went about according to plan as far as we talked about adding pitching depth to the system,’’ Hoyer said.
Among the selections Wednesday were two locals: Lefty Nathan Dorris of Southern Illinois in the 17th round and Simeon High School catcher Blake Hickman in the 20th.
Parker to DL
After an MRI revealed a bone bruise in his pitching elbow, reliever Blake Parker was shut down from all throwing for the next month and put on the 60-day disabled list. The Cubs called up Class AAA righty Manny Corpas.