Tomas, the Cuban player people are pining over has lost some luster to the Phils front office, as there are apparently concerns that he may be unable to play the outfield, and would be relegated to a first base/designated hitter role. The Phillies would be in a good position to know this, as they've heavily scouted the 23-year old, though Hagen does note that the Phillies are still enamored with his bat. And why wouldn't they be, he hits the ball like a mythical (?) giant hairy creature, tweets Jeff Passan:
Talk with people who have seen Yasmany Tomas' workouts in the D.R., and the legend of his HR power is already approaching Sasquatch levels.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 20, 2014
Perhaps the Phillies soured on Tomas when he started breaking their equipment:
Yasmany Tomas story No. 2: At Phillies complex, he showed off prodigious opposite-field power and hit a home run into a laundry room in RCF.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 20, 2014
The bigger concern, I think, is that the Phillies are doing their laundry in right-center field?
Personally, I've always thought it unlikely that the Phillies would end up signing Tomas, as there are 29 other teams in the sport that would love to have a young guy like him in the fold, and the sport is so flush with money that really are few teams that couldn't afford to add a 23-year old kid with a potential monster bat for something like $15MM a season. Always bet on the field. But especially do it when you're a Phillies fan (it dulls the pain when something crappy happens--and crappy things always happen)
The Phillies are actually in a good position to gamble on a guy like Tomas, as their first base position looks as if it's going to be open in a few years, if not sooner, and their outfield is a shambles. Marlon Byrd likely won't be around after July, Domonic Brown is a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a guy who can't play defense, and Ben Revere is a nice guy who smiles a lot and hits like a gnat. Couple those defensive need with their payroll flexibility and I see a team that should make that kind of a calculated gamble.
Finally, well, their reasoning is specious. To hear that the organization is shying away from the guy because he can't play adequate OF defense while I've seen a steady stream of fire plugs run out to the Phillies OF is puzzling. A partial list: Pat Burrell, Raul Ibanez (who took pride in his defense), Darin Ruf, Ty Wigginton, Cesar Hernandez, Delmon Young, Domonic Brown, etc.
Perhaps the Phillies are learning from the error of their ways, or perhaps their new-found timidity has increased in lockstep with Tomas' asking price. Or perhaps this is just a public negotiating ploy. Who knows, but it's increasingly looking like we won't be getting that shiny new present this Thanksgiving. Unless you count Elvis Araujo, in which case, yay, we got a shiny new thing!