Finally it will not be in Philadelphia, or Miami, San Francisco , San Diego, Kansas, Seattle, Atlanta. Yasmany Tomas, one of the most coveted free agents of the market in Major League Baseball, will take his power to the hot desert of Arizona, where he will play with the Diamondbacks, franchise founded in 1998 .
There was no record in the transaction, some experts had talked about $ 100 million, as many anticipated. The 24 years old Havana slugger signed for 68.5 million dollars over the next six seasons, with an option to finish the contract in the fourth year , an advantage that he could explode at the time to find a team with larger market.
But these are just guesses, there is still plenty of time to get to that level, and Tomas will first have to prove his worth in the most demanding baseball of the planet if he wants to grope around free agency in advance, at the age of 28.
So far, he has taken a wise way, just as announced in recent statements Jay Alou, his agent, who had already made it clear that his client would not be rushed and explore all options, without focusing exclusively on the salary amount of a possible operation.
And the wisdom lies in landing in a team in full restructuring, with clear ideas about the future after qualifying as the worst squad in the majors last season. Yes, because Arizona recorded 64 wins and 98 losses during 2014 in the West Division of the National League, which they share with the flamboyant monarchs San Francisco Giants and the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers.
“The entire organization is frustrated with the results in the field and we are looking to improve,” Derrick Hall, president of the Diamondbacks, recently said.
Under such conditions, the reconstruction was seen coming, and it is certain that it began since last May, when they hired Tony La Russa, inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, as head of sports operations, in addition to make significant changes in management and coaching of the team.
“Tony brings us a wealth of knowledge and success, and will work to assess the current state of our organization and deciding the future of our spots operations. He is thrilled and excited by the challenge, and we are fortunate to have this immortal of the sport with us as part of the team, “the owner of the side noted.
All these details and the idea of being part of a promising new project could captivate Tomas, who comes to add, without excessive pressure for leading a squad that already has distinctive faces like Paul Goldschmidt and Mark Trumbo.
Precisely with these sluggers Arizona has one of the most feared trios of right-handed batters in MLB, as the outfielder Trumbo accumulates 109 home runs in five seasons, averaging 32 homers and 102 RBIs per year, while the stellar first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has an average of 106 RBIs per 162 games in addition to win the Golden Glove and the Hank Aaron award in 2013.
Success is not a chimera
Given the enormous expectations that were created around his figure, Yasmany Tomas will be in the middle of the radar for the immediate future.
The fact of choosing Arizona and getting away from the glare of New York, Los Angeles or Florida does not implies less pressure because he will have to endure constant comparisons with other Cubans who have already succeeded in the majors, as José Dariel Abreu, Yasiel Puig or Yoennis Céspedes.
However, Tomas has proved he always felt comfortable in the public eye, and also responded when critics attacked him and constantly talked about his deficiencies on the plate, like in the days before the Third World Baseball Classic, a tournament in which he captivated the immense majority of scouts.
Power, speed, good sense of direction and movement, rapid reaction in the field and strong arm were some of the qualities listed, the same that have now open him the doors of MLB with a team than the previous season ranked 12th as far as budget is concerned.
If Tomas shows his mobility and the strength of his arm, he can master the defense and shut mouths who doubt his abilities with the glove, especially in a complicated scenario like Chase Field, his new home, a stadium of long dimensions in any sense, with very spacious outfields.
His main problem will undoubtedly be adjusting to pitching in the majors, vastly superior to what he has seen in his career, especially on breaking pitches. However, at the age of 24 he has still considerable room for improvement in terms of discipline and focus on the plate.
For now we just have to wait for the official statement from the Diamondbacks, who should give more clues about their plans with the Cuban, a rough diamond that can be a bargain if exploiting all his potential.