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Phillies may find themselves priced out of Tomas bidding

Cuban slugger, 24, reportedly seeking $100M deal
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- Some folks in baseball still consider the Phillies to be the favorites to sign Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas. But are they?

The Phillies have seen Tomas multiple times over the past several weeks, and sources believe he could be a productive power hitter in the big leagues, which is something the Phillies desperately need. But sources also said some in the organization have continued concerns about Tomas' conditioning and defense.

PHILADELPHIA -- Some folks in baseball still consider the Phillies to be the favorites to sign Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas. But are they?

The Phillies have seen Tomas multiple times over the past several weeks, and sources believe he could be a productive power hitter in the big leagues, which is something the Phillies desperately need. But sources also said some in the organization have continued concerns about Tomas' conditioning and defense.

Tomas has been linked to a $100 million contract, but sources said the Phillies will not approach a nine-figure deal. One source told MLB.com's Paul Hagen on Thursday the Phillies have cooled on Tomas as a result.

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That said, if the asking price drops in the coming weeks, the Phillies could be in play.

It could happen. While the Giants, Padres, Royals and Braves are some of the teams mentioned as potential destinations for Tomas, he does not have the offer he seeks. CBSSports.com, which reported Atlanta's interest in Tomas, said he will attend next month's Winter Meetings in San Diego.

That indicates nothing is imminent.

The Red Sox signed fellow Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $75 million contract this summer. Sources said the Phillies never seriously pursued Castillo because they preferred Tomas. But it is unclear how much they would go above $75 million, if at all.

For the sake of comparison to other notable contracts with Cuban players, the White Sox signed Jose Abreu to a six-year, $68 million deal last offseason, and in 2012, the Dodgers signed Yasiel Puig to a seven-year, $42 million deal and the A's signed Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year, $36 million deal.

Each of those players has been a tremendous value.

Tomas' agent Jay Alou said at last week's GM Meetings that Tomas has "a lot more power" than Abreu, who hit 36 home runs this season on his way to the American League Rookie of the Year Award.

Video: Cuban free agent Tomas ready to make splash in bigs

The Phillies need power like that. They also need to get younger. Tomas turned 24 this month. It seems like a great fit for many reasons, including the fact the Phillies have nobody close to fitting Tomas' description in their farm system (i.e., young power hitter close to big league ready).

But Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. sounded frustrated when asked at the GM Meetings about signing a Cuban free agent like Tomas.

"Just because one guy did well signed from one country doesn't necessarily mean the next guy is going to do well," he said. "It doesn't mean the guys before or after that are going to do well. It's all individual. We'll try to scout the players and try to project them in a way that you feel necessary and go from there. It's like saying, 'This Dominican player played real well one time so we've got to sign Dominican players.' It's ridiculous."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com.

Philadelphia Phillies