The Arizona Diamondbacks reportedly signed a six-year deal with Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas, worth $68.5 million, according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.Tomas has been the prize international free agent out there this year, one season after fellow Cuban Jose Abreu blew away the majors in his AL Rookie of the Year season. But the only teams rumored to be in competition for Tomas were the Braves, Giants, Padres and Phillies. Philadelphia had been thought to be the favorite for well over a week now.
Arizona has long been a hotspot for political conversations because of the illegal immigrant population, so I find it a bit ironic that they’re signing a player that is defecting from a Communist country. I know it’s Mexican apples to Cuban oranges, but it doesn’t make it not conversational.
Arizona giving $68.5 million to Yasmany Tomas, a Latino that escaped his country, is just good sports comedy!
— David Gonos (@davidgonos) November 27, 2014
Tomas went from Cuba to Haiti in June and established a residency there. He hit 30 home runs with 104 RBI in 205 games for Havana Industriales in the Serie Nacional in Cuba.
He’s a 6-foot-1, 230-pound outfielder with big right-handed power, but he apparently chases pitches, like many young sluggers do. That includes fellow Cuban Yoenis Cespedes. The smart fellas over at FanGraphs.com liken Tomas’ ability to what Justin Upton has done in recent seasons.
“While Kiley was attempting to compare and contrast the recent Cuban free agents for market valuation reasons, his projected peak line is almost a dead ringer for what Justin Upton has done in the big leagues, as I noted last week. Kiley’s guess of a .275/.350/.480 would equal out to about a 130 wRC+ in a neutral park, so even if he’s a minor defensive liability, that line would still make Tomas an above average player, probably in the +3 WAR range.” – Dave Cameron, Fangraphs.com
A guess at what the Diamondbacks lineup will look like, once Tomas gets on board, courtesy of RosterResource.com:
- A.J. Pollock, CF
- Chris Owings, 2B
- Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
- Miguel Montero, C
- Mark Trumbo, RF
- Yasmany Tomas, LF
- Aaron Hill, 3B
- Did Gregorius, SS
Although, I could see Tomas sandwiched between Montero or Trumbo, or swapping spots with Montero directly once he gets acclimated.