Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Cubs add pitching, turn attention to Cuban prospect Soler

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On the day the Cubs concluded the three-day draft, they also returned their sights strongly toward touted Cuban outfield prospect Jorge Soler, who worked out for many teams - including the Cubs - on Wednesday.

``We've obviously scouted him extensively. A lot of teams have,'' general manager Jed Hoyer said. ``We had a similar situation with [Yoenis] Cesepedes this winter. It'll be intriguing. But certainly we've done our work on him.''

According to sources last November, the Cubs targeted Soler, 20, more than Cespedes, who eventually signed a four-year deal with Oakland for the same $36 million the Cubs were offering over six.

Soler, a Cuban defector who only became an eligible free agent this month, has until July 2 to sign a deal before baseball's new restrictions on international free agent signings take effect.

``Judging from all the information we've gathered and articles I've read, I think [the field of interested teams] is very wide,'' Hoyer said. ``It's not surprising. He's really talented. And there is that July 2 uniqueness that adds to it.''

Meanwhile, the Cubs finished off a pitching-heavy draft Wednesday, having used 22 of their 42 picks on pitchers, including 13 of their first 19.

``It went about according to plan as far as we talked about adding pitching depth to the system,'' Hoyer said. ``We really pounded away on pitching after we took [center fielder Albert] Almora with the first pick.

``I think a lot of teams feel good about their draft today. Everyone had a good draft, and we'll find out in five years if we were right.''

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on June 6, 2012 7:41 PM.

Day 3: Cubs continue to stockpile pitching in draft was the previous entry in this blog.

Cubs get needed DH, rest for Soriano's knee in Minny is the next entry in this blog.

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