Yasmani Tomas, 23, could be the next Cuban defector to hit it big — record-breakingly big — on Major League Baseball’s free agent market. Via Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe …
According to one team’s international scout, the latest Cuban slugger could command as much as $100 million. The scout said Tomas has gotten himself in shape and if he performs well at his showcase later in the month, the money will get “really high.” Tomas is susceptible to breaking stuff. His legal documentation has just about cleared.
Cafardo says the Phillies “could go hard on him” but the Red Sox and “several other teams” have interest. Tomas defected from Cuba in June and was cleared for employment last week by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The big-bodied corner outfielder batted .301/.333/.580 with 16 homers in 69 games as a 20-year-old in Cuba’s Serie Nacional back in 2011 and was a standout in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Rusney Castillo’s recent seven-year, $72.5 million pact with the Boston Red Sox is the current record for a Cuban signee. Jose Abreu got a six-year, $68 million contract from the Chicago White Sox last October and Yasiel Puig received a seven-year, $42 million deal from the Los Angels Dodgers in June 2012.
Just one week after Taylor Cole and Felix Peña tossed a combined no-hitter against Seattle, Mariners right-hander Mike Leake worked on his own perfect game through eight innings against the Angels.
It was an ambitious form of revenge, and one that Leake served up perfectly as he held the Angels scoreless in frame after frame. He sprinkled a handful of strikeouts throughout the first eight innings, catching Matt Thaiss on a called strike three in the third and getting two whiffs — called strikeouts against both Brian Goodwin and Shohei Ohtani — in the fourth.
The Mariners, meanwhile, put up a good fight against the Angels, backing Leake’s attempt with 10 runs — their first double-digit total since a 13-3 rout of the Orioles on June 23. Daniel Vogelbach led things off in the fourth with a three-run homer off of reliever Jaime Barria, then repeated the feat with another three-run shot off Barria in the fifth. Tom Murphy and J.P. Crawford helped pad the lead as well with a two-RBI single and two-RBI double, respectively.
In the ninth, with just three outs remaining, the Angels finally managed to break through. Luis Rengifo worked a 1-1 count against Leake, then returned an 85.3-m.p.h. changeup to right field for a base hit, dismantling the perfecto and the no-hitter in one fell swoop. Leake lost control of the ball following the hit, issuing four straight balls to Kevan Smith in the next at-bat and giving the Angels their first runner in scoring position. Still at a pitch count of just 90, however, he induced the next two outs in quick fashion and polished off the win with a triumphant eight-pitch strikeout against Mike Trout for the first one-hitter (and Maddux) of his career.
Had Leake successfully closed out the perfecto, it would’ve been the first of his decade-long career in the majors and the first the Mariners had seen since Félix Hernández’s perfect game against the Rays in August 2012. For their part, the Angels have yet to be on the losing end of a perfecto. The last time they were shut out in a no-hitter was 1999, at the hands of then-Twins pitcher Eric Milton.