Shortly after the Carlos Correa press conference yesterday, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow was quoted as saying that the club remains interested in signing Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, who was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball earlier this week. Soler and his camp had previously told all interested teams to submit their final bids by June 7, 2012.
When asked if the Astros were still interested in signing Soler after his citizenship took longer than expected, Luhnow said:
"“We continue to have interest in Soler and that’s the most I can say right now. We’re aware of the process and if there’s anything to report, we will let you all know.”"
Soler must sign with a Major League team before July 2, 2012 or he will be subject to new CBA guidelines that will limit spending on international prospects to $2.9 million per team without a penalty.
Jim Callis of Baseball America has said that Soler is a five tool player with incredible bat speed and compared him to Kansas City Royals 2011 first round draft pick, Bubba Starling. Back on March 7, Peter Gammons tweeted that he is hearing that the Cubs will land Soler for $27 mil but that is just an opinion and far from a fact. Several teams, including the Astros, Cubs, Phillies, Mets, Marlins, Rangers, Orioles and Blue Jays have all been mentioned as possible suitors for Soler.
Both Jim Crane and Jeff Luhnow have said numerous times that they will not be afraid to spend internationally and in the draft. Hopefully we have a good enough offer to land the Cuban phenom as adding him to our system, along with our 2012 draft class should catapult the Astros into a top ten farm system in MLB.