For the longest time the Phillies were said to be the “front runners” for Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas. Yet, as Matt Gelb reports today, they never even made him an offer. This from Tomas’ agent, Jay Alou:
Jay Alou said Monday the Phillies showed constant interest but never submitted a formal contract offer. Alou believed Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. had to “clear salary” before making a substantial commitment to Tomas.
“His hands were tied,” Alou said.
Amaro had no comment apart from saying that the Dbacks valued Tomas more.
I know a lot of people will turn this into another instance of mocking Amaro for incompetence, but I also seem to remember that the Phillies’ reported interest cooled on Tomas, somewhat abruptly a couple of weeks before he signed. Which I think is better to take as a matter of the Phillies’ opinion on him changing, the perceived bidding getting too high or both.
There’s enough of a reason to talk smack about Amaro. I don’t think the team not being willing to make a massive commitment to a guy who presents risk is one of them. A lot of people around baseball think Tomas will be good, but mileage varying on that is not unreasonable.
Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports that left-handed starter Andrew Albers has parted ways with his team in the Korean Baseball Organization and is back in North America seeking a contract for the 2015 baseball season. It’ll likely have to be a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Albers posted a less-than-inspiring 5.84 ERA across 146 1/3 innings this past year in the KBO, though that’s a very high-scoring environment. He’s had a good amount of past success in the minors and Nicholson-Smith is hearing that “a number of big league organizations” have already expressed interest.
The Arizona Diamondbacks were not linked with Yasmany Tomas until very recently. Apparently Tony La Russa and Dave Stewart close deals fast, however. From Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com:
Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas and the D-backs have agreed to a six-year deal worth $68.5 million, according to industry sources. The Tomas deal will include an opt-out after four years and is pending a physical, the sources said. The D-backs have not confirmed the agreement.
It was believed by some that his contract would surpass Rusney Castillo‘s seven-year, $72.5 million deal with the Red Sox for the richest-ever for a Cuban player, but this falls just short. Likely because of the opt-out provision. Before the Dbacks were in the hunt, it was rumored that the Braves, Padres and Giants were all interested.
Tomas just turned 24. He is said to have plus-power and will likely play a corner outfield position. At the moment, it would appear that left field is his destination.
Arizona has been mentioned before as a potential landing spot for Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas, but it was never really considered a strong likelihood. Maybe that perception should be changing …
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Diamondbacks are among the “teams pushing hardest” to sign the 23-year-old, who defected from Cuba in June and was cleared to become a major league free agent in early October. Rosenthal also lists the Giants, Padres, and Braves as fellow serious suitors. It sounds as though the Phillies have recently backed off.
Tomas is scheduled to attend Major League Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings (December 7-11 in San Diego), so he probably won’t sign before then. Early estimates had him commanding over $100 million guaranteed, but if an offer like that was ever presented wouldn’t Tomas already have accepted it?
That’s what Ken Rosenthal is hearing anyway:
The Giants are already tied to Yasmany Tomas and, with Sandoval gone, could and should be players for third baseman Chase Headley.
But loading for bear with pitching isn’t the worst alternative either.