CBS' Jon Heyman reports the Phillies are "all over" Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas. Heyman cites A.J. Burnett's decision to decline his $12.75 million option as an added bonus for the Phillies to spend on Tomas. Given their current payroll is already high, the $12.75 million relief can be allocated elsewhere to a player like Tomas.
Tomas turns 24 next week and is one of the most highly sought after free agents on the market this offseason. He has already played five seasons in Cuba which means he will likely be exempt from the international bonus pool. The Phillies have already had Tomas in for a private workout in the Dominican Republic.
The free agent is a power-hitting outfielder that projects as a corner-outfielder when he gets to the United States. The 6'1", 230 lbs. has tremendous power which he unveiled at the 2013 World Baseball Classic as one of the youngest members of the Cuban squad. Baseball America listedTomas' raw power at a 70 on the 20-80 scale which is phenomenal but comes at a price. Tomas has a upper-cut swing which leads to issues with breaking pitches and adds some swing-and-miss to his game.
Tomas is a better talent at this point than fellow countryman Rusney Castillo, who signed a seven-year, $72.5 million deal with the Boston Red Sox this summer. With Castillo's deal as the benchmark, it would not be a total surprise to see Tomas' deal come in north of $100 million.
The Phillies are not the only team competing for his services but the Phillies should be one of the teams who is in hard for Tomas. A young, power-hitting corner-outfielder who bats right-handed is pretty much exactly what the Phillies need. Tomas is the type of signing that makes total sense for the Phillies as he will be entering his prime in 3-4 years which is a reasonable expectation for the Phillies to turn their sinking ship around.
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