PHILADELPHIA -- After losing out on Yoenis Cespedes, the Marlins are now showing strong interest in another free agent outfielder from Cuba: Jorge Soler. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports reported Saturday that Soler has been declared a free agent.
Soler, 20, has “Mike Stanton-like power,” according to one source, and projects to be a right fielder.
But his asking price might be too steep for the Marlins. Sources said that Soler’s agent has told teams he already has offers on the table for $25 million, and that might be too rich for the Marlins' blood, especially for a player who is thought to be a few years away from the majors.
The Marlins have thoroughly scouted Soler, who defected from Cuba in 2011. The Marlins bid for Cespedes over the winter, but lost out to the A’s, who signed him to a 4-year/$36 million deal.
The competition for Soler is expected to be just as keen, if not more so. According to reports, the Red Sox, Cubs, Blue Jays, Phillies, Orioles and Yankees might all have interest in him.
Unlike Cespedes, who is starting for the A's, most feel Soler is still a few years away from being major league ready, which should make him less expensive. Cespedes is hitting .236 with five home runs and an on-base percentage of only .309 for the A's.
Jim Callis of Baseball America described Soler (6-3, 225 lbs.) as a "five-tool player." Soler played for the Cuban national team in the 2010 World Junior Baseball Championship, hitting .304.