Ahead of the 2015 season, Tomas signed a 6-year/$68.5 million backloaded deal to come straight to the Diamondbacks from Cuba. Tomas was a proven player in Cuba. But his MLB deal, even then, seemed a little steep and a gamble for a player who hadn’t faced major league-caliber pitching.
Now, Tomas isn’t even going to be on the 2018 Opening Day roster as a backup outfielder. Even with Steven Souza Jr.’s recent injury that will sideline him for a few weeks. Arizona’s management believes in guys like Jarrod Dyson and Chris Owings to play all over the outfield at the start of the season more than one of their highest-paid players.
It’s a shame for Tomas because he was a player who came to the U.S. with lofty expectations and hasn’t been able to live up to them.
The highlight of his career thus far was his 2016 campaign when he hit .272 with 31 home runs in 140 games. Since then, he’s battled injuries and been passed on the depth chart by a handful of players.
That’s not to say he doesn’t have the potential or abilities to turn his career around. However, he’s certainly not trending in the right direction if he’s looking to do that. Tomas’ window to establish himself as a starting outfielder on the Diamondbacks’ roster may have already closed, as well.
Strong play from Tomas could get his name back in the conversation, but it’s presumably going to take quite a lot for manager Torey Lovullo to consistently pencil in Tomas over one of the three aforementioned players.
What makes Tomas’ situation even more disheartening is that it appears Arizona doesn’t need him anymore. If he’d lived up to his potential, he could’ve been a Souza-type who wouldn’t hit for a high average but could hit home runs at a fairly good clip.
However, with Souza on the roster and Tomas underperforming, Tomas is essentially a black hole on the 40-man roster. Plus, he’s sucking millions of dollars from a Diamondbacks team that could better allocate those resources.
The previous front office responsible for signing Tomas is the same group – headed by Dave Stewart – that traded Dansby Swanson and Ender Inciarte for Shelby Miller among other poor deals. Not a great track record.
At 27 years old, Tomas still has time to reestablish himself as a competent MLB player and go on to have a decent career.
As it stands now, though, his time to do so in Arizona might be over.