Those wily Diamondbacks. With the Braves, Giants, Phillies, Mariners, and about 24 other teams sniffing around Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas, the Diamondbacks turned out to be the mystery team, signing Tomas for six years, $68.5 million.
This is the third straight Cuban player the Giants have targeted aggressively, only to come up short. They were one of the last teams in on Jose Abreu, reportedly, and they made a substantial offer to Rusney Castillo before he signed with the Red Sox. The last one worked out just fine, considering that Abreu would have hit into a crucial double play in the NLDS (source), and scouts are kinda/sorta sketchy on Castillo for the moment. Still, the Giants were looking for power and they were reportedly interested in Tomas. It's a little surprising that they didn't match the Diamondbacks' offer with their newfound Panda money.
That written, there were some serious red flags for the 24-year-old outfielder. I wrote about him here, concluding that he was a different, less polished hitter than Abreu and Yasiel Puig. Here were the seasons each Cuban player had before coming over:
Jose Abreu, 2012 - 2013
.382/.535/.735, 37 BB, 21 SO, 136 PA
Yoenis Cespedes, 2010 - 2011
.333/.424/.667, 49 BB, 40 SO, 354 PA
Yasiel Puig, 2010 - 2011
.330/.430/.581, 49 BB, 39 SO, 327 PA
Yasmany Tomas, 2013 - 2014
.290/.346/.450, 34 BB, 52 SO, 324 PA
Abreu and Cespedes were finished products, mostly, but Puig was still a teenager. Tomas was dealing with a hurt wrist, so that has to be considered, but the other players -- none of whom are known for their unyielding patience -- showed far superior plate discipline. Tomas is on the younger side, so it might not be anything, and everyone agrees the power is legitimate. I couldn't shake the Pedro Feliz vibes, though.
Meaningless but hilarious reminder that Feliz was the person who played left field when Barry Bonds got hurt seriously for the first time.
Still, this limits the Giants' chances for the post-Panda big splash. Perhaps the deal came together quickly because the Giants indicated they were sweeter on Jon Lester, or perhaps because they're busy futzing around with Torii Hunter and Justin Masterson. This offseason is glorious and terrifying.
Tomas is off the board. The Giants have one less rumor stoking the hot stove. We'll see what we're saying when Tomas hits the Coke bottle behind the left-field fence in the ninth inning, but for now, I'm okay with this. The Giants do a lot of things well. Polishing raw-power ore into valuable power jewelry isn't one of them.
He sure has a butt made for hitting dingers, though. I wonder if the Giants' scouts took that into account.