FORT MYERS, Fla. -- According to a major league source, the Red Sox do plan to pursue Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, a 20-year-old who is awaiting approval by Major League Baseball to become an international amateur free agent. Though still considered very raw, Soler has tremendous power, with the potential to hit 30-plus homers a season in the majors if he proves capable of fulfilling his potential.
That said, the Sox -- like most of the baseball industry -- expect that the Cubs are likely to win the bidding for Soler. In some ways, Soler is emerging as the subject of the last unrestricted bidding war surrounding an international amateur free agent.
Starting this July, teams will be subject to a $2.9 million cap in their total international signing bonuses for the 2012-13 signing period that will include penalties for every dollar spent over that amount, and restrictions on the signing of players in the next amateur signing period. As long as Soler signs before this July 2, he will be unaffected by the cap, and thus he is perhaps the last significant unrestricted international amateur free agent, a fact that will give him a bonus several times larger than the forthcoming $2.9 million cap.
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