The deal that Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler signed with the Cubs on Monday could be worth significantly more than the stated terms - $30 million over nine years.
Once Soler becomes eligible for salary arbitration, he will have the right to choose arbitration instead of the annual salaries specified by his contract, according to a major-league source.
In other words, if Soler develops into a productive major leaguer, he can opt out of the financial terms of his deal and negotiate even better salaries with the Cubs.
Soler, 20, is likely to begin his career in Single A. He could be several years away from the majors. The year-by-year breakdown of his salaries is not yet known.
But if, for example, Soler made his major-league debut in 2015, he would become eligible for arbitration for the 2018 season. If he figured to receive a higher salary in arbitration than the number mandated by his contract, he would simply choose arbitration.
On the other hand, Soler will be protected if he does not develop as expected, drawing the annual salaries that he negotiated into his deal – and getting no less than $30 million either way.
- Ken Rosenthal