Phillies Still Favorites for Tomas or Not?

yasmany tomasSome folks in baseball still consider the Phillies to be the favorites to sign Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas.

But are they?

Update: MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports the Padres and Braves are emerging as frontrunners for Tomas.

The Phillies have seen Tomas multiple times over the past several weeks and sources said they believe he could be a productive power hitter in the big leagues, which is something they desperately need. But they also said some in the organization have continued concerns about Tomas’ conditioning and defense.

Tomas has been linked to a $100 million contract, but sources said the Phillies will not approach a nine-figure deal. One source told MLB.com’s Paul Hagen today the Phillies have cooled on Tomas as a result.

That said, if the asking price drops in the coming weeks the Phillies could be in play.

It could happen. While the Giants, Padres, Royals and Braves are some of the teams mentioned as potential destinations for Tomas, he does not have the offer he seeks. CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, who reported Atlanta’s interest in Tomas, said Tomas will attend next month’s Winter Meetings in San Diego.

That indicates nothing is imminent.

The Red Sox signed fellow Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $75 million contract this summer. Sources said the Phillies never seriously pursued Castillo because they liked Tomas more. But it is unclear if how much further north they would go above $75 million, if at all.

For comparison’s sake, the White Sox signed Jose Abreu to a six-year, $68 million deal, the Dodgers signed Yasiel Puig to a seven-year, $42 million deal and the A’s signed Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year, $36 million deal.

Each of those players has been a tremendous value.

Tomas’ agent Jay Alou said at last week’s GM Meetings that Tomas has “a lot more power” than Abreu, who hit 36 home runs this season on his way to the American League Rookie of the Year Award.

The Phillies need power like that. They also need to get younger. Tomas just turned 24 this month. It seems like a great fit for many reasons, including the fact the Phillies have nobody close to fitting Tomas’ description in their farm system (i.e. young power hitter close to big-league ready).

But Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. sounded frustrated when asked at the GM Meetings about signing a Cuban free agent like Tomas.

“Just because one guy did well signed from one country doesn’t necessarily mean the next guy is going to do well,” he said. “It doesn’t mean the guys before or after that are going to do well. It’s all individual. We’ll try to scout the players and try to project them in a way that you feel necessary and go from there. It’s like saying, ‘This Dominican player played real well one time so we’ve got to sign Dominican players.’ It’s ridiculous.”

2 Comments

He needs to be signed now before someone else signs him because he is better than anyone they have in the outfield now or anytime soon from the minors. He can learn to field better if he wants to. Remember Pat the Bat wasn’t a great fielder but he sure helped us win the 2008 series.

The Phillies missed Mike Trout who played just 40 miles from Citizens Bank Park as a high school standout. Maybe the Phillies need a complete overhaul of their scouting?

Now, the rage is to throw money at an unproven player from Cuba? I think we already have one of those on the Phillies team don’t we?

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