Braves re-evaluate plans as Tomas signs elsewhere
More deals could be made involving Uptons, Gattis to reshape outfield
ATLANTA -- The Braves were intrigued enough by Yasmany Tomas' power potential to send manager Fredi Gonzalez and hitting coach Kevin Seitzer to Tuesday's workout in the Dominican Republic. But their interest in the Cuban prospect evaporated on Wednesday evening, when Tomas opted to sign with the D-backs.
MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reported that Tomas and Arizona agreed to a six-year, $68.5 million deal. The Braves made a couple offers over the past few days, but proved unsuccessful in their bid for the 24-year-old outfielder.
With Jason Heyward already traded to the Cardinals and Justin Upton on the trade block, the Braves have a definite need to acquire at least one corner outfielder and replenish their middle of their lineup with power. Tomas had the potential to satisfy both of those needs.
If the Braves opt to keep Upton, there would not necessarily be an immediate need for an outfielder. But this would set up the possibility that Evan Gattis would be manning left field with B.J. Upton in center field and his younger brother in right.
Instead of going with this potentially problematic defensive mix, the Braves will likely continue their attempts to trade Justin Upton, who will make $14.5 million before becoming a free agent next year, and Gattis, who could garner a nice return from an American League club that could utilize him as a designated hitter.
Atlanta is also willing to listen to any offers for B.J. Upton. But barring a swap of bad contracts, they might simply have to hope that he begins providing some value to the $46.35 million he is owed over the final three years of what has thus far been one of the worst contracts in franchise history.
Though there is still a need to gain at least one more Major League-ready starting pitcher and to continue restocking the system's starting pitching depth, the Braves might need to look for potential long-term outfielders via the trades they could make for Justin Upton or Gattis.