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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Jorge Soler: could he have been a Yankee? Better than Bye Bye Balboni?

Jorge SolerPosition: Rightfielder, Bats: Right, Throws: Right, 6-4, 215 lb, Born: February 25, 1992

Happy birthday, Jorge. 25 years old today, just the right age for a team like the Yankees looking for young talent. Except:

YearAgeTmSalarySrvTmSourcesNotes/Other Sources
201220Chicago Cubs$1,666,666?
201321Chicago Cubs$1,666,666?
201523Chicago Cubs$2,666,6670.033contracts
201624Chicago Cubs$3,666,6671.033contracts
201725Kansas City Royals$3,666,6672.033
201826Kansas City Royals$4,666,667once eligible, may opt out of remaining salaries and into arbitration
201927Kansas City Royals$4,666,667
202028Kansas City Royals$4,666,667
Earliest Free Agent: 2021
Career to date (may be incomplete)$9,666,666Does not include future salaries ($17.67M)

Are the Yankees too cheap for this type of young talent. The Yankees passed on free agent Edwin Encarnacion supposedly because he was too old: 34. They would prefer to get their new home run production in 2017 from Aaron Judge, who is almost as old as Soler. Judge hit a monster home run in the first Yankee spring training game, which was played today.

Jorge Soler:
June 30, 2012: Signed by the Chicago Cubs as an amateur free agent.
December 7, 2016: Traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Kansas City Royals for Wade Davis: born: September 7, 1985 (Age: 31 and 170 days).

Davis is one of those one inning wonder relief pitchers. Innings, SO9:
2014 72 13.6
2015 67 10.4
2016 43 9.8

Maybe Davis is slipping. The Cubs will pay Davis $10 million in 2017 after which Davis becomes a free agent. So, the Cubs traded a potential power hitting corner outfielder for a one year, one inning relief pitcher, whose power numbers are slipping.

Maybe that tells us something about Soler. And yet there's this:

A Kansas City Royals Slugger? Jorge Soler Could Fit the Bill
On Baseball
By TYLER KEPNER FEB. 21, 2017 New York Times

SURPRISE, Ariz. — In 1985, a burly first baseman named Steve Balboni hit 36 home runs, establishing a single-season record for the Kansas City Royals...

... not a single member of the Royals has reached the Balboni Barrier. It remains a club record ...

... nobody has come within even five homers of Balboni’s record since Jermaine Dye in 2000...

Wade Davis, the former closer ... was traded to the Chicago Cubs in December for Jorge Soler, a powerful right fielder.


Soler, who turns 25 on Saturday, signed with the Cubs from Cuba in 2012... coming to bat just 16 times in their 17 postseason (2016) games.

Still, Soler has been productive, with 27 homers and 98 R.B.I. across 682 career at-bats. With consistent playing time as he enters his prime, could Soler, who is 6 feet 4 inches and 215 pounds, break Balboni’s record? ...

(Royals) could have traded Davis for prospects, but instead ... got an everyday player who should make an immediate impact. Soler has flaws; his defense in right field must improve, and he has 211 strikeouts in 211 career games...

In the best case, Soler will give the Royals a reasonably priced run producer under contract through 2020, with an annual salary under $5 million.

____________________

The Yankees could have acquired Soler for one of the two relief pitchers they traded at the July 31, 2016 deadline: Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs or Andrew Miller to Cleveland. Chapman and Miller opposed each other in the 2016 World Series. Instead, the Yankees went for quantity: getting four for one for each. Only one of the eight players acquired was a major leaguer: Adam Warren. Apparently the Yankees think they can win by outnumbering the opposition.

The Yankees showed their disdain for their third relief ace, Dellin Betances, by engaging in an acrimonious arbitration case. The Yankees will pay Betances $3 million in 2017.

Oh, the Cubs showed no interest in retaining Chapman after the World Series when he became a free agent.

Aroldis Chapman:
November 3, 2016: Granted Free Agency.
December 15, 2016: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.

The Yankees, who are in no man's land trying to simultaneously compete and rebuild, signed Chapman to a contract that no other team would consider: $17 million per season for each of five seasons.

The Yankees signed Chapman eight days after the Cubs traded Jorge Soler for Wade Davis. Had Yankee general manager Brian Cashman put a little thought into this he could have traded Betances for Soler, knowing that he intended to sign Chapman.

None of the main stream media people have considered this. All we hear is what a genius Cashman is for piling up all those "prospects".

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