Ken Rosenthal reports as follows:
What do we know about Tomás? [Except that I had to look up how to type that acute a: it's alt-160, which I'll perhaps need to file beside the alt-164 for the n in Nuño] He turned 24 earlier this month, and was part of the 2013 team in the World Baseball Classic, but defected from Cuba in June, establishing residency in Haiti. He completed the necessary paperwork, and was declared a free agent by MLB. He had been playing for Industriales de La Habana since he made his debut as a 17-year-old in 2009, and at 6'4" and 240 pounds, his reputation is definitely as a slugger, delivering long bombs and big misses and with power rated 70 on the 20-80 scale.
Tomás went to the Dominican Republic and worked out in front of representatives from every major-league club in late September. Reports there were mixed, particularly in relation to Tomás's apparent desire to command a $100 million contract. Said one observer, "He is a good player, but for $100 million? I don’t know. He is better than [Rusney Castillo, who signed a seven-year, $72.5 million deal with the Red Sox], but that doesn’t mean he is worth $100 million.’’ I'd also have questions about his stamina, considering the Cuban League season is barely half the length of MLB's, at 90 games, and Tomás never played more than 69 times in a season.
There may be some tactical elements to Arizona's interest, hoping to drive up the cost for a divisional rival like the Padres or Giants - the latter will be looking to make a splash, having lost fan favorite Pablo Sandoval to the Red Sox, and would appear to have enough money to afford Tomás. San Diego also appear to be winning to open their wallets this winter, having offered Sandoval a bigger contract, in total value, than Boston and have often been mentioned in conjunction with the Cuban player. This tactical aspect has to be considered, simply because it's hard at first glance to see how he'd fir on the Diamondbacks roster, never mind their payroll.
I mean, I think we already have a slugging outfielder who racks up the strikeouts, in Mark Trumbo. Do we really need another one in the opposite corner? [Those who value dingerz should note the most recent World Series was played between the teams that ranked 17th and 30th for home-runs. Only one of the top five even made the playoffs] The rest of the roster is no less crowded, with A.J. Pollock, Cody Ross, David Peralta and Ender Inciarte already present, and most if not all of them likely to be cheaper than Tomás. But there is another possibility, raised in this Tweet from his agent:
Yasmany Tomas worked out at 3B today for the D-Backs. Position he first played in Cuba. Looked pretty comfortable! #versatility
— Jay Alou (@JAloujr) November 3, 2014
If he can play there, that would presumably also increase the Giants' interest as a Panda replacement. It's currently thought that Tomás will be in the Unuted States for the winter meetings next month, so he may not sign until then. Of course, there's nothing wrong with kicking the tires, but if MLBTR's estimate of a seven-year, $105 million contract is what's needed, I'd probably have to pass. GM Dave Stewart may be of similar mind. While agreeing "he's a guy who could come in and have some pretty good impact on our team and in our lineup," Stewart warned "I don't know how big we're going to play."
Still, if the reports are true, it does perhaps add some credence to the talk about Arizona believing they have enough cash to chase top free-agents this winter. We've already heard rumblings of the team's interest in starting pitcher James Shields, and then there's also the possibility of Japanese starter Kenta Maeda. The recent arrivals to our front office appears intent on making a "new broom" statement this winter. In what form that will be, and how it works out, only time will tell.