MESA, Ariz. -- The Chicago Cubs aren't confirming or denying interest in soon-to-be free agent Jorge Soler, but when it comes to reports they already have a deal with the top Cuban prospect, general manager Jed Hoyer had some strong words.
"I will say the rumors that we have a deal with him are completely bogus," Hoyer said Tuesday. "I don't know where that started, but you guys should not run with those rumors. They are just rumors and they have no merit."
Various reports have said the Cubs have a deal with Soler for four years and between $27 million and $27.5 million, which would be a violation of baseball rules because Soler is not yet a free agent.
Hoyer didn't deny the club's interest in Soler. The Cubs have obviously been a player with all of the recent Cuban free agents, missing out on Yoenis Cespedes, who signed with the Oakland A's, but landing left-hander Gerardo Concepcion earlier this spring.
The last reported whereabouts for Soler had him trying to establish residency in the Dominican Republic, but Hoyer said he wasn't able to confirm that. About all that Hoyer was willing to confirm was that Soler was not a free agent yet and nobody knows when that status might change.
As for Concepcion, he has been throwing bullpens in minor-league camp and is expected to appear in minor-league games before the spring ends. He is on the 40-man roster, but it is uncertain if he will appear in a Cactus League game before camp breaks.
Doug Padilla covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.