5:30pm: Heyman adds another caveat to Soler's deal (Twitter link). Soler will be allowed to opt out of the agreed-upon salaries and go to arbitration once he is eligible. That scenario would likely push the total value of the deal beyond $30MM.
1:48pm: Soler and the Cubs agreed to a nine-year deal worth approximately $30MM, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. At least three or four teams placed bids of $20MM plus, according to Heyman. Depending on how long Soler spends at the minor league level, the deal could cover all of his arbitration seasons and multiple free agent years.
Soler can opt out of his yearly salaries and file for arbitration once eligible, ESPN.com's Keith Law reports. As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains, this means Soler could earn more than $30MM with the Cubs.
Soler has to sign by July 2 if he aims to maximize his earning potential and avoid spending restrictions imposed under baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement. It's not clear what kind of bonus the Praver Shapiro Sports Management client will obtain from the Cubs, but a sum in excess of $15MM would not be surprising.
MLB declared Soler a free agent earlier this month after verifying his paperwork. The Phillies have since offered him a contract and the Astros, Pirates, Indians, Red Sox, Yankees and Blue Jays also appeared to have some level of interest in the 20-year-old.
Soler was an up-and-coming power hitter in Cuba before leaving the country, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. His calling card is right-handed power, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America, who considers him a top-50 prospect in MLB.