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Yasmany Tomas could be a bargain for AL teams looking for a DH

With bats such as Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Mike Napoli set to make a ton of money in the FA market, the Diamondbacks may have a cheap alternative available for any interested AL teams.

This free agency period will have a lot of big bats available. Edwin Encarnacion, Yoenis Cespedes, Mike Napoli, and Jose Bautista will be on the market after opting out and/or denying a qualifying offer. In order for another club to sign those guys, they would have to forfeit a first round pick unless the pick is protected. For teams looking for that final piece to the puzzle, they have to consider if a first round pick and paying these guys $20M+ a year is a wise investment. Teams with top-end payrolls can afford to make that signing, but mid-market teams might not be able to afford it.

Fortunately for those teams, there is a cheaper option available. The Diamondbacks are going to listen on offers for pretty much any player on the club, and they have a young aspiring power hitter with negative defensive value. Tomas is scheduled to make $9.5M this year and is owed $23M over the next 2 years before he can opt out. While Tomas is a terrible fit in the National League as an outfielder, he has enough bat that an AL team should be interested in him in a trade. Right-handed power is very scarce, so there will be a market for Tomas in a trade. The only question is if the Dbacks bite.

Tomas had a solid season at the plate, batting .272/.313/.508, slugging 31 HR and driving 83 runs, leading to an OPS+/wRC+ of 110/109. Tomas contributed 62 XBH, good for an ISO of .236. I believe his 2016 numbers at the plate are a solid baseline for future performance, which should be a selling point toward trading him. Teams that could use a DH on the cheap are Cleveland, Toronto (if they lose Encarnacion), Seattle, Baltimore, and possibly Houston. Tomas isn’t going to break the bank for any of those clubs with only a salary commitment of $11.5M a season and the Diamondbacks could get some talent in return that might fit Chase Field better than Tomas did.

I don’t think trade talks start up until the big bats mentioned at the top of the article are officially signed, but Tomas will make half of what those guys will make in free agency. I still think there is a lot of growth left in the bat that could make him a bargain for AL clubs. The move also works for the Diamondbacks because they’re able to spend that money elsewhere since his replacements are as likely to put up as much value in AZ as Tomas did.