The Mets will dispatch three scouts to a showcase for Cuban defector Yasmani Tomas, according to sources. The event is scheduled for Sunday in the Dominican Republic.
Tomas, 23, is a corner outfielder who has developed a reputation for powerful swing at the plate and a strong arm in the field. Playing this season in Cuba, he hit .290/.346/.450 with six homers in 257 plate appearances.
However, the bidding may get out of hand for the Mets, who have shown no indication of raising payroll. They will be just one of many teams expected to watch the 6-foot-1, 230-pound Tomas, who Baseball America described as possessing “plus-plus raw power, although with some swing-and-miss tendencies, and a strong arm that should fit in right field.”
Given the rising cost of procuring Cuban star players, Tomas could conceivably command a contract that easily exceeds the seven-year, $72.5-million deal that the Red Sox gave last month to Cuban defector Rusney Castillo.
Though the Mets also scouted Castillo, they never emerged as serious contenders for his services.
Speaking generally about procuring Cuban players, Mets vice president of player development and scouting Paul DePodesta said the club has kept tabs on prospects, though he acknowledged that the price tags have been steep.
"We have been very diligent about all of the free agents who have come available," DePodesta said. "There just hasn't be a fit yet."