D-backs close to deal with Cuban outfielderCuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas is in the process of agreeing to a $68.5 million, six-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity on Wednesday, local time, because the deal had not been completed. The person said several additional steps were necessary, but the agreement was likely to be finalized in the next few days.
MLB.com reported a deal had been agreed to.
Tomas, 24, hit .375 (6 for 16) for Cuba with two homers and five RBIs in last year’s World Baseball Classic.
He would join an outfield hampered last season by injuries to Mark Trumbo (stress fracture in left foot) and A.J. Pollock (broken right hand), who both missed about half the season. Trumbo, Ender Inciarte and Cody Ross have been Arizona’s top projected corner outfielders.
Arizona, which was a major league-worst 64-98 last season, fired manager Kirk Gibson and reassigned general manager Kevin Towers, who left to becomes a Cincinnati Reds’ special assistant. Former big league pitcher Dave Stewart was hired as the Diamondbacks’ GM under Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa, and Chip Hale took over as manager.
In Stewart’s first major move, Arizona acquired pitcher Jeremy Hellickson from Tampa for a pair of minor league prospects.
In total dollars among Cuban players, Tomas’ deal would fall just short of the $72.5 million, seven-year contract agreed to in August between outfielder Rusney Castillo and the Boston Red Sox. The $11.42 million average would be just above first baseman Jose Abreu’s $11.33 million average in the $68 million, six-year deal he agreed to with the Chicago White Sox in October 2011. Abreu went on to win AL Rookie of the Year.