The Cubs were thought to be closing in on a deal early Tuesday night, but things cooled off a bit after the Nationals reportedly made a late push for Davis. Washington has been extremely active in trying to make moves this week, but appear to have lost out on Davis after already losing the Mark Melancon and Chris Sale sweepstakes during the Winter Meetings.
Chicago has been one of the most aggressive suitors for Davis in recent days, as Kansas City looked to move him as a cheaper alternative to expensive free-agent closers Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman. The Nats and Cardinals were among the other teams to be linked to Davis, though the Cubs may have been the favorite from the start.
Davis will immediately replace Chapman as the Cubs’ closer, reuniting with his former skipper Joe Maddon, who coached him in Tampa Bay. The move will cause Hector Rondon to shift once again to a setup role, with Carl Edwards Jr., Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm and Brian Duensing also being in the bullpen mix.
Davis, 31, is under Cubs’ control for just one season before hitting free agency in the fall. He has been excellent in the bullpen for the Royals over the last three years, saving 47 games while registering ERA marks of 1.00, 0.94 and 1.87 in each season.
Soler, 24, will provide some pop in the Royals’ lineup after appearing in the majors for Chicago throughout the last three seasons. The 6-foot-4, 215 lb. slugger will become Kansas City’s everyday right-fielder, alongside Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon.
Soler is a career .258/.328/.434 hitter with 27 homers in 211 major-league games, and is under Royals’ control through the 2020 season. In that span, he will earn less than $18 million as part of the 9-year, $30 million deal he originally signed with the Cubs.