Yoenis Cespedes – just missed.
Jose Abreu – not quite.
The Marlins are not shy about bringing Cubans to Marlins Park. They have done it before (Adeiny Hechavarria and Jose Fernandez) and will do it again. They started this thing back in the late 90’s with Livan Hernandez.
Yet, they are not going to sign a guy just to sign him. The Marlins missed out on Cespedes and Abreu because they were not as desperate as the other teams in the bidding. Or, they simply could not allocate as much money as the other franchises. So don’t expect this situation to be any different.
Tomas projects as a corner outfielder. Marlins, in case you didn’t know, have two pretty good ones in the $325M dollar man Giancarlo Stanton and gold-glover Christian Yelich. Some have suggested the Marlins would move Yelich to 1B, but if you win a gold glove, where is the value in that? If anything, Tomas should be moved to 1B where he will surely have to adjust defensively while his bat comes to life.
The other thing is, well, is Tomas’ bat worth around $100M? Who knows. He could be another Abreu; or he might not. Right now it would make sense for the Marlins to get a more known quantity in an MLB veteran to get into the lineup and help support the offense around Stanton. If there is value in this deal, the Marlins will do it. Most likely, the other teams will exceed sanity and push their bids past what the Marlins will deem reasonable – and the Marlins are usually pretty good at that, say what you will. If the Fish do land Tomas by competing with the big boy franchises, it may be an alarming trend. Could the Marlins really be pushing too much money too fast? It would be possible.
Signing Stanton to a 13 year deal does still have risk. Even though the first few years of salary remain pretty valuable, it is the back end that could haunt the Marlins if things don’t work out. The Marlins have to try and field a winning team now before their TV contract expires, so that not only can they get the fans they want and the revenue, but they also will need leverage for pushing for a bigger TV contract as well. Getting players who could be marketed to the Carribean could help. That said, landing a player like Tomas would be a financial risk and a strategic risk in that he would have to play 1B as well. Would it work? Possibly. Just don’t bet on the Marlins making that move.
Then again, this is a new era. Expect the Marlins to try harder for pitching, like James Shields.