This is good news, because I really want them to seriously consider signing him.
Tomas, who has been cleared to pursue an MLB contract, is currently waiting to be declared a free agent, which insiders expect to happen just after the end of the regular season. He is described as a power-hitting, right-handed corner outfielder, while considered to be one of the top young power hitters in Cuba.
According to multiple reports, Tomas is expected to sign a more lucrative deal than Rusney Castillo‘s $72.5 million contract with the Red Sox.
“Tomas can hit towering home runs thanks to the strength from his thickly-built 6-foot-1, 230-pound frame,” according to reporter Ben Badler (Baseball America, June 20). “He has some experience in center field and is a decent runner for his size, but his speed is still below-average and he’s going to be a corner outfielder in pro ball.”
I was SO wrong about Jose Abreu it's made to totally question how I view the international free-agent market. The way I understand it, pretty much every National League team was leery of signing Abreu because he profiled to be a DH… and still does.
In this case, though, with Tomas, he's athletic enough to play in the National League and I want the Mets to make a move on him.
Of course, in June, Sandy Alderson said it was too early to say if the Mets would pursue Tomas (Puma, June 21). Well, it's almost time, and I hope he's more than just vaguely interested. This guy can play the outfield. Badler says he hits ‘towering home runs,’ and frankly, that’s good enough for me. At this point, given the state of the Mets' offense, the weak free agent and trade market, and lack of immediate help in the farm system, even if this guy is a total bust, it would probably be worth the bet.
I spent all last off season writing about how the Mets needed to acquire a home-run hitting outfielder. The Mets signed Curtis Granderson, yet everyone is still writing (as will I) that the Mets again need to acquire a power-hitting outfielder. Well, it reads like Tomas can be that guy. So, as I've been saying since July, when the bidding starts this winter, I hope the Mets step up like the home-run hungry New York team they are and go for it.
By the way, while trying to learn about Tomas, I heard a few baseball insiders say they believe the Red Sox may have overpaid to get Castillo so they could try and use him in a deal with Miami to get Giancarlo Stanton. Again, this is speculation, and Castillo can't be traded until one year after being signed, but it's a fun rumor to think about...