MIAMI -- Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, who agreed to a nine-year, 30 million deal with the Chicago Cubs Monday, was never aggressively pursued by the Red Sox, several industry sources confirmed.
Soler, 20, has terrific raw power and impressive tolls and has been compared by some who scouted him to a young Gary Sheffield.
But the Red Sox were apparently wary of several factors, including his defensive skill set and the fact that he's hasn't played much against top international talent, and weren't in on the bidding.
Knowing that the Cubs and team president Theo Epstein were seen as the favorites to land Soler all along, the Sox expected the bidding to go beyond what they believed to be Soler's value.
Because Soler signed his deal prior to July 2, his contract was not subjected to the new limit (2.9 million) for international free agents as agreed to in the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last winter.