Tomas faces a battle in suddenly loaded outfield

D-backs camp gets more interesting after additions of Dyson, Souza

February 20th, 2018

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After lost position battles at both third base and left field in 2015, he entered the following two spring camps as a starter in the outfield. But he's back to fighting for a spot this spring, as the D-backs finalized a two-year, $7.5 million deal with outfielder  and traded for outfielder Steven Souza Jr. on Tuesday.

"There's going to be a competition. Nothing is going to be handed out," manager Torey Lovullo said prior to the announcement of the three-team trade that brought Souza from Tampa Bay and sent to the Yankees. "We've challenged him with that message, and he's very well-aware of that message."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Tomas reiterated he understands what's at stake and said he's not surprised by the situation.

"It's the same every Spring Training," he said through interpreter Richard Saenz, who also works on the team's Spanish radio broadcasts. "I have to come into Spring Training and win a job. I feel good and I'm ready to go."

Spring Training:Info | Tickets | Schedule | Gear

Tomas hit .272 with 31 home runs in 2016 but struggled out of the gate last season, hitting .241 with eight homers in 47 games before landing on the disabled list and eventually needed a pair of core surgeries.

After one surgery in August and a second in December, he said he felt back at 100 percent in mid-January.

"He could carry our offense at times. We saw it two years ago," said of Tomas. "We're going to need him healthy."

A.J. Pollock has center field locked up, but it remains to be seen how the D-backs handle left and right between Tomas, Dyson, Souza,  and .

General manager Mike Hazen acknowledged Tomas brings a power element to the lineup, but that's as far as he would discuss the 27-year-old Cuban.

"I'm not ready to make predictions on what we're going to look like a month and a half from now, or less," Hazen said. "We've talked a lot about competition, and that's what Spring Training is for."

Tomas in January also was cited for speeding on Loop 101 in excess of 105 mph.

He said his attorney is handling the issue and he doesn't know whether he will be disciplined by either the team or the league.

Moving on from J.D.

While the move had yet to become official early Tuesday afternoon, the D-backs were well aware of reports that former outfielder J.D. Martinez had agreed to terms on a five-year, $110 million contract with the Red Sox.

"If in fact it's true, we were fortunate to have him here playing for us the way he did," said Hazen, who was reported to have been in relatively constant contact with Martinez's agent, Scott Boras, in recent weeks. "To have someone come in in the middle of a season and boost us the way he did is something we'll never forget."

Martinez hit .302 with 29 home runs and 65 RBIs in 62 games after he was acquired from the Tigers before the Trade Deadline.

"He's going to leave a little bit of his blueprint with this ballclub ... teaching some of these young guys the qualities that were successful for him," Lovullo said.

A little live BP

Robbie Ray, and Brad Boxberger were among a small group of pitchers to throw live batting practice on Tuesday.

"I got some good reactions from the guys," said Ray, who faced Goldschmidt, , Pollock and Tomas. "Sometimes, as a pitcher, you can't really tell if your stuff is doing what it's supposed to. But nobody can see that better than the hitter, so it's good to hear from them what they're seeing."

Up next

Twenty-four-year-old right-hander Taylor Clarke, the D-backs' third-round pick in 2015 and the club's No. 3 prospect, will take the mound Wednesday when the D-backs take the field for the first time this spring, a 1:10 p.m. MT exhibition against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Salt River Fields.