Unexpectedly, the Arizona Diamondbacks made one of the biggest splashes of the baseball offseason when they signed Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas to a six-year, $68.5 million deal in late November.
In terms of total value of the contract, it was the fifth-largest pact signed by any player since the free agency period began.
Keith Law, ESPN baseball insider, is a fan what the D-backs did by bringing in Tomas.
“I like the signing for them, in large part because he got paid less than I thought he would,” Law told Doug and Wolf Wednesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I’ve talked to a bunch of other scouts who have seen him and it sounds like (the D-backs) have a chance for an average, every-day player — a low-OBP (on base percentage) slugger.
“So a guy who’s getting on base at a .310 or .320 clip, but who is hitting 25 home runs a year, maybe more. It helps to play in Arizona.”
The Diamondbacks have said publicly that they’d like to try Tomas at third base in spring training, but Law doesn’t see that happening.
“I don’t think there’s any shot at that, at all,” he said. “I think he’s sticking in left, maybe right, and just hope you get those 25+ home runs per year.”
Tomas, 24, played for the Cuban team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, batting .375 with two home runs and five RBI in the tournament. In five seasons for Industrial in Serie Nacional de Cuba, he clubbed 43 home runs in 291 games, driving in 160 runs and hitting .289.
“What I think he’s going to produce and what an average, every-day player makes in free agency right now, it’s a pretty good signing,” Law said. “If that’s what he turns into, he’ll help the Diamondbacks and a year or two down the road, if they decide they need something different, he’ll be making little enough money that there will be real trade value for him, so it works both ways.”