Washington Nationals: Yasmany Tomas an intriguing lottery ticket

The Washington Nationals are giving Yasmany Tomas another chance to prove that he can be a viable major league player.

When the Arizona Diamondbacks inked Yasmany Tomas to a six year contract following the 2014 season, he was considered to be the next great Cuban star. However, his somewhat disappointing offense and horrific defense in left led to his banishment to the minors after a disappointing start to the 2017 season, where he remained outside of a brief callup in 2019. He was not included as part of the Diamondbacks’ 60 man roster last season, leaving his major league career in question.

He is about to get a second chance. The Washington Nationals have signed Tomas to a minor league deal with the idea of making him a first baseman.

Tomas did show some potential with the bat in 2016. That year, he belted 31 homers for the Diamondbacks while producing a respectable .272/.313/.508 batting line. However, he also cost Arizona an incredible 31 runs in the outfield, his defensive shortcomings making him virtually unplayable.

A groin injury in 2017 left Tomas unable to build upon that season, and with a new front office, the Diamondbacks were not as committed to making him a part of the future. He was outrighted from the 40 man roster, and aside from a four game stint in 2019, never returned.

Washington is a solid landing spot for the one time Cuban star. The Nationals have an opening at first, as the three players they ran out at the position are free agents. Likewise, with the expected departures of Adam Eaton and Michael Taylor, the Nationals have an opening in their corner outfield, although it is unlikely that they would give him much time at the position.

But there is a place for his bat. The universal designated hitter is inevitable, and would allow Tomas to have a place in the lineup. He was reasonably solid at first defensively in the minors, leading to the hope that he could at least be serviceable at the major league level. It could be that all he needed was a second chance.

That chance is coming with the Washington Nationals. There is still time for Yasmany Tomas to be the player that the Diamondbacks had hoped for.