The Royals might be putting some of that extra money you spent on playoff tickets to good use. According to the New York Post's Joel Sherman, the Royals are "interested in joining the Yasmany Tomas sweepstakes."
Tomas defected from Cuba in June to the delight of international prospect nerds everywhere. Tomas, who turns 24 on Friday, has been declared a free agent. He jumped through all the absurd embargo-contorted hoops necessary. Now he can join the American League champions freely!
Tomas is ready for the majors today. Basically, he's a 24-year-old power hitter on the open market. That pretty much never happens so the bidding could get crazy, and the Royals are reportedly interested in keeping Billy Butler around or pursuing Melky Cabrera or Torii Hunter ... BUT, Dayton Moore said they are interested in Tomas.
If the Royals sign Tomas, he could hold down right field -- keeping Jarrod Dyson in the same role he filled in 2014 -- and step right into the middle of the order. He has 70-grade power, according to Baseball America (subscription required). The rest of the story on him is less spectacular. He doesn't have plus speed or plate discipline, but his agent says he has "way more" power than his former Cuban National teammates Jose Abreu and Rusney Castillo. As you know, Abreu got a huge deal last year (six years, $68 million) and Castillo got even more (seven years, $72.5 million). Tomas' skill set and the recent success of his countrymen in the majors should allow him to beat both of those deal.
That might sound like enough to count the Royals out already. It is not.
Kansas City can afford a $10-$15 million player for the next seven years. They might have to move some money around for 2015, but going forward, the could handle a deal like that. The bidding for Tomas might exceed that range, however. He'd be worth it if he was a two- or three-win player on average throughout the deal.
He gets around pretty well for a man as stocky as he is -- 6'1, 230 pounds. Baseball America grades his speed at slightly below average (40- to 45-grade). Like several other Cuban outfielders in the majors right now, Tomas has a plus arm. He might not have Cespedesesque arm strength and since he isn't literally an angel on Earth, we know he doesn't have an Alex Gordon-caliber arm, but it is a tool. Again, his game is hitting for power. He finished his last season in Cuba hitting .290/.346/.450 with six home runs, 21 walks and 46 strikeouts in 257 plate appearances. That was a down year for him. During the 2012-13 Serie Nacional season, Tomas hit .289/.364/.538 with 15 home runs, 34 walks and 52 strikeouts in 324 plate appearances.
He's a young power hitter that might be a star if he can hit for enough average to put together a decent on-base percentage. If anyone from the Royals is reading this, DO IT. Do it right now. We gave you a ton of our money. Use it on the team please.