It’s never easy admitting when you’re wrong.
The Arizona Diamondbacks appeared to do just that Saturday after placing Yasmany Tomas on outright waivers.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic was the first to report Arizona’s decision. He says the Diamondbacks were looking to open a spot on the 40-man roster, and that the move “could amount to little more than that.”
Nonetheless, it’s eye-catching to see Tomas’ name attached. This type of move is commonplace for journeymen or a fringe contributor. However, very few of those players are in the midst of a six-year, $68 million contract, or a contract anywhere near that value.
That’s the deal Arizona agreed to when signing Tomas out of Cuba before the 2015 season. The now 27-year-old still has three years and $46 million remaining on that deal.
The Diamondbacks obviously had high hopes for Tomas. The offensive-minded infielder lived up to the hype in 2016, belting 31 homers and driving in 83 runs. Unfortunately, his defense put Arizona in a bind. They attempted moving Tomas to the outfield, but he became too much of a liability. Last season, he played left field exclusively, but didn’t hold up physically. He suffered a groin injury in June and never returned.
Despite losing J.D. Martinez in free agency and Steven Souza Jr. to injury, Arizona still didn’t have room for Tomas on the opening day roster. It seems safe to say that he’s no longer in their plans, but it’s also safe to assume he’ll go unclaimed. The claiming team would have to assume the remainder of his contract, and that’s obviously not going to happen based on how little teams were willing to commit in free agency.
Tomas also has the option to decline an outright assignment to the minors if he goes unclaimed, but he’d forfeit the reminder of his deal to do so.
Tomas has slashed .268/.307/.462 over 305 career games. He might be better suited for an American League team, where he could focus entirely on hitting.
We should have a better idea of what Tomas’ immediate future holds in the next few days. For now, it appears he’ll remain in the Diamondbacks organization. But he’ll have to show a lot more on the field if he hopes to get back in their good graces.
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