Cuban Slugger Yasmany Tomas Has Private Workout with Padres

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Cubans are the hottest thing right now. No, not the cigars, the baseball players.

There are 25 Cuban-born players in MLB, and the number is growing. In much the same way that Japanese league players started coming to the States in large numbers in the 90s, the 10s are seeing an influx of talent from the island 90 miles south of Key West, Florida. Players like Yoenis Cespedes, Jose Abreu, Yasiel Puig, and Jose Fernandez have become fast stars in the majors, raising the expectations for the next wave of players to make the transition. 

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Last Fall, Abreu signed a $68 million contract, and then proceeded to lead the majors in slugging. A month ago, the Red Sox signed Rusney Castillo to a $72.5 million deal. And now the latest prize teams are fighting for is Yasmany Tomas. Rumors are that the price tag for the 23-year-old outfielder could top $100 million, perhaps more due to his age and his high ceiling than his current talent level. Power is Tomas’ primary skill. And it is impressive, as shown in this clip from the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Padres’ General Manager A.J. Preller was largely known for his prowess in international scouting and recruiting with the Rangers. And Preller has shown strong signs that he is interested in Tomas. Tomas held a showcase in the Dominican Republic two weeks ago, and while nearly all teams had someone in attendance, the Padres were among the best represented teams there. Preller himself led the Padres contingent. He was the only GM in attendance.

Hall of Fame writer Peter Gammons has listed the Padres as one of five teams considered early favorites to sign Tomas.

And now the Padres have held their own private workout for Tomas, according to MLB writer Jesse Sanchez.

The Phillies and Rangers have reportedly also held private tryouts for Tomas.

The Giants and Mets have also expressed considerable interest in signing the free agent.

The Padres have not made any official statements about Tomas’ workout. But it is exciting to have the team in the running for one of the most coveted free agents on the market. It’s been a long time.

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