Phillies Don’t Sign Yasmany Tomas and That is Ok

So the initial reports are that the Diamondbacks have signed Yasmany Tomas for 6/$68.5M.  The first instinct for Phillies fans to rush for something to comfort themselves.  The problem is that buried in the details is that Tomas contract comes with an opt out after 4 years.  This had been the trend of reports coming out recently, that Tomas was in favor of a contract that allowed him to be a FA at age 27-28.  The Phillies likely would have matched or gone for a higher AAV, but at a 4 year deal it just does not fit their timeline.  The Phillies front office has stated that they are looking to compete in the 2017-2018 time frame.  This means that on a 4 year contract for Tomas the Phillies would be paying for 2 years of Tomas on a bad team for the opportunity to have him for 2 years of possible contention.  The downside is that you are paying him for 6 years if he isn’t good.  In the end that just doesn’t make sense for the Phillies going forward.  We will see how they spend the money (either on FAs or to help grease the wheels of trades).

The Cuban FA market is weird and it appears the Phillies went in knowing what would work for them, and in the end that didn’t align with the player’s wishes.  The Phillies will be bad in 2015 and 2016 and this would not have changed that.  Yes a young power hitter for 6-7 years would be really nice.  A young power hitters for realistically 2 years of contention just isn’t worth it.

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman
Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.


  1. tbarr

    sorry but asking us to believe the phillies went into something with a plan is ridiculous

  2. Romus

    If Moncada is on their radar and they do indeed want to spend to get him….then I am in favor of their plan.
    Moncada has been graded out as a plus across the board in most all scout reports from what I have read, plus he is 20-years old next season.
    My confidence however is not high, and the FA market does not offer anything conducive to their long-term plans of competing in 2017 and beyond.

    • MLL

      Romus, I hope that you are right. I agree with Matt that the opt out after 4 years was a dealbreaker. I think assuming that the Phillies will be competitive by 2017 is optimistic and if Tomas would leave after 2018, we likely would lose all of his value to the next contending Phillies team.

  3. Greerbr

    I am actually happy they didn’t take this plunge. There is risk and reward with all these Cuban players and the fact they did enough research, you would think scouts saw something not worth that price tag.

  4. Phillies are on the edge of a dangerous precipice- one where people go from being angry to apathetic. Having said that I’m surprised how many people are defending him signing elsewhere. If the big worry is the opt-out, they have this amazing thing called contract extentions the front office is intimately familiar with.

  5. PHack?

    Why is it realistic to assume that if, as in this scenario, Y. Tomas were to opt out after 4 years, Philadelphia would be unable or unwilling to extend him, given that a large new multi-million dollar TV deal would be in place by then, and the media (both regular and internet blog) truisms, that Philadelphia has nothing as an advantage but money, and that the front office is willing to spend to rebuild team. ( I believe I already know the answer, but will look for other explanations).

    • Matt Winkelman

      If the idea is that you are going to extend him after 4 years if he is good then why not just wait to sign him in FA in 4 years and take on none of the risk. If the goal is to get another large payday you weren’t getting a discount on the extension anyway

      • PHack?

        Then the material I have read since the start of the offseason about the Philly team being back in contention in two years (evidently so they can keep Hamels to lead the charge) is all nonsense, right? ( I think they call that a rhetorical question). As to the “risk” involved, I figure (based upon the charts on MLBTR) that Philly is some 35 million plus under last season’s payroll, so, by my estimation, the risk would be manageable within the payroll. The risk is only in comparison to the sure things currently on the Philly roster.

        What do they do in lieu of adding Tomas? Continue on with the current crop until the bad ( or, to put it another way, all beyond automatically renewable)contracts) expire?
        One of the first things I read this offseason was an article, (I believe it was from Todd Zolecki) stating that the Phillies ownership group would most like to simply wait another year for contracts to wind down. Starting it look like that could have been the only relevant thing written in the entire offseason.

    • Romus

      What the D-Backs do have going for them in four years, and which the Phillies also could have had, was that if Tomas was that good and prefers not to stay, but still wants to test the FA market….then QO him and once he signs with another team, a comp pick comes your way.

  6. philabaltfan

    Matt, what is the possibility that Tomas starts the 2015 season in the Diamondback’s minor league system?
    It seems the more his agent showcased him the more his flaws were exposed and scared many MLB teams away(including the Phillies) that could use his power potential.

    • Matt Winkelman

      I don’t see them putting him in the minors based on how they seem to perceive themselves and the contract they signed him to. That being said, he probably would really benefit from playing in winter ball and the minors some before heading to the majors. I just don’t see them giving that to him.

  7. Bob

    I don’t understand why the Phillies would not want to improve the team by signing Tomas. He represents a young, probable upgrade at a reasonable cost. If he turns out to not be good, the length of the deal is not prohibitive. If, as many suspect, the deal is front-loaded, the back-end can be easily dealt with by waiving him in the last two years and eating the reasonable amount that’s left should he not produce.

    If he turns out to be good and he wants to test the market, the Phillies can trade him for value before the expiration of his deal and possibly re-sign him. If he turns out to be good and is willing to resign, the Phillies can benefit by having his exclusive negotiating-rights while he remains under contract. I’m unclear on this, but should he opt out and test the FA waters, could the Phillies QO him and receive draft pick compensation if he’s not dealt?

    The only thing that signing Tomas would do is cost the Phillies money, which they have. He’s not blocking any younger players as Dugan will probably play all next year in the minors. Unless you can convince me that the money would be better allocated elsewhere, I think not signing Tomas was a poor move. The goal is to incrementally improve the team so that it has a shot to contend for a championship. By not signing Tomas to a reasonable, short deal, all we’re doing is treading water.

    • Matt Winkelman

      I think the first two paragraphs is fair, the last paragraph is where you lose me a bit (also I would count on QO as it is likely to go away in the next CBA). The Phillies are working within a finite budget, one that is with the luxury tax. This allows them to sign guys as flier they could trade later (like a Hernandez), eat money on Howard, Pap, Byrd contracts to get better returns, and possibly save money to spend on later seasons. The other thing is that based on the contract offers that seem to be thrown around from other teams (it appears the Padres may have offered a little more in guaranteed but no opt out) teams and scouts really soured on him when they saw him in person. The concerns from the Phillies on defense got a lot of attention, but once you start questioning defense and conditioning, and then that you love the power but no one has ever seen him successfully handle velocity and your appetite to bust the bank really goes away quickly (especially when you can sign an equivalent player like Marlon Byrd for 2/16 with an option)

      In reality this team has so many holes all they can do is tread water, at least for the next two years. Tomas represented a chance to spend $22M to tread water in a more flashy way over the next two years with the possibility he is good for those later years. I suspect you could see Dugan and more Domonic Brown (who has a lot of similar risk/reward to Tomas).