Cubs signing of Cuban pitcher makes them favorites for landing Jorge Soler

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Gerardo Concepcion has agreed to terms with the Chicago Cubs on a five-year major league contract. Terms are not official but it’s allegedly for about $7 million.  This has been known for over a month already, but it’s only been made official in the past five minutes. And that means…the Cubs look like the winners of the Jorge Soler derby. They’ve been the front-runners for awhile, but this makes that position even stronger.

This signing has greater purpose as it’s supposed to be a conduit to bigger things, like $27 million for Soler, a 19 year-old-centerfielder, who’s coveted by the White Sox and New York Yankees, among other teams.

It still may be weeks before Soler is cleared to sign and a mystery team could slip in at the end, as the A’s did with Yoenis Cespedes.

Concepcion, who turned 20 last month (although who really knows with Cuban birth certificates, it’s anyone’s guess), earned Cuban National Series Rookie of the Year honors last season after going 10-3 with a 3.36 ERA in 21 games (16 starts) for the Industriales.  At the age of allegedly 19, Concepcion placed among overall league leaders in wins (tied for sixth), winning percentage (second at .769) and earned run average (ninth).

A season earlier, the 6-foot-2 southpaw pitched for Havana in the Cuban Junior National Tournament, going 2-2 with a 3.06 ERA (16 ER/47.0 IP) in 15 appearances, six as a starter.  He struck out 39, walked only 15 and did not allow a home run in 47.0 innings.

If the Cubs start to really get the Cuban connection working, it would add spice to the rivalry with the team on the other side of town. The White Sox already have Cubans Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo as part of their everyday nine.

 

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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