As the Phillies wait for word on whether A.J. Burnett will pick up his $12 million plus option for 2015, a fanbase that has struggled to watch another Hunter Pence heavy playoff, got some good news this morning.
To that, we can add this: People involved in the process now identify the Phillies as strong contenders for Tomas, and the Padres and Dodgers as far less likely. “And don’t count out the Tigers,” one source said.
After another disappointing post-season, the Tigers somewhat scare me. But given the fact that they are likely to lose both Max Scherzer and Torri Hunter this Winter, and David Price is entering the final year of his contract, it doesn’t seem likely that they will allocate their resources in one 23 year-old outfielder, despite his high ceiling.
Martino also eliminated the Yankees and Mets from consideration, and the Red Sox don’t have a need for an outfielder, which would leave the Phillies as the only big-market team that’s seriously in the running for the Cuban defector. Perhaps the current lack of a need for an outfielder from many big-market teams will keep his price from climbing past the original estimates of $90 to $100 million.
Would signing Tomas be a safe move? Not necessarily, he’s 23 years-old and while he’s show immense potential in the World Baseball Classic and private workouts, he’s still never played a game in the MLB, which makes giving him a massive contract a risk. But if the Phillies scouts and higher-ups think it is a move that could help to inject some energy and talent into a team that needs it, consider me on-board. No where else are you going to get a 23 year-old with this potential and not have to unload Cole Hamels.