The Athletics have strong interest in five-tool Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. She says Yoenis Cespedes' price tag is too high for the A's, and his desire for either a four or ten-year deal doesn't work for them.
Soler, 19, has also been linked to the Yankees, Phillies, Nationals, Cubs, and Rangers this offseason. Nationals Director of International Scouting Johnny DiPuglia has watched Soler for years, and told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, "He’s got a Hanley Ramirez-type body. Plus arm. Plus bat speed. He’s a good kid, a good-energy kid." Though Soler would need more minor league seasoning, it's been written he could have more upside than Cespedes. Soler is younger and more talented than the Rangers' Leonys Martin, wrote Baseball America's Jim Callis, so he figures to beat Martin's $15.6MM contract. Callis notes that the $2.9MM international signing cap installed in the new CBA doesn't begin until the 2012-13 signing period, so as long as Soler signs before July 2nd, there are no limitations.
Slusser also adds to the A's-San Jose story in another article. She talked to former Giants general managing partner Peter Magowan, who thinks San Jose is "wishful thinking" for the A's. She also learned from A's owner Lew Wolff and others that the stadium issue is not on the agenda for the owners' meetings in two weeks.