The Atlanta Braves have signed 25-year-old Cuban outfielder Dian Toscano to a 4 year, $6 million contract with a $1.7 million option for 2019. The Atlanta outfield now consists of B.J Upton, Nick Markakis, Jonny Gomes, and newly acquired Dian Toscano. The 5-foot-10, 200 pound left handed hitter, posted a .356 batting average in 86 plate appearances during the 2012-13 season for Villa Clara in Cuba. This is not the first Cuban player to come into the MLB. Cuban sluggers fill this league with all star ability. Yasiel Puig, one of the many great Cuban players, played in the all star game last season. Yoenis Cespedes, the home run derby king, also is a Cuban native. Will Toscano be a consistent everyday player to start the 2015 season like these Cuban players?
The Atlanta Braves recently signed Jonny Gomes. With Toscano in the outfield now, what three will get to start? The Braves signed him for 4 years, so clearly they want him to be an everyday starter. With Upton in center and Markakis in right, clearly the Braves knew that when they signed Gomes, he will have the role of playing off the bench and pinch hitting for the pitcher late in games. He will also substitute when an outfielder needs a day off.
The Braves did not spend a huge amount of money for Cuban outfielder. They spent $6 million for 4 years. Does this bring some concern? Usually, a player will get more money depending on how talented they are. This could mean that Toscano is just a mediocre player. The amount of money in the contract certainly brings down the hype of him in the MLB. Now going back to signing Gomes, he could be the backup plan if Toscano is not what they expect. Even if Toscano does not produce like the organization think he is going to, it will not hurt them in dollars.
Opposing pitchers will not fear Toscano because of his lack of power. In 2012-2013, he hit 3 home runs in 86 plate appearances. At 5-foot-10 weighing 200 pounds, Toscano will be a fast leadoff player who can steal bases. Baseball America journalist Ben Badler states, “Toscano has a lack of arm strength, though he runs well enough that he could see some time in center field.” The Braves will definitely play around with this outfield and move players to where they are comfortable, but Toscano's lack of arm strength will be a big question mark. The Braves have lost some of their stars over the offseason, but replaced them efficiently.
Offseason: NOTE: This is my opinion not Jake Wesley's whom's you will see in the upcoming weeks
Key Offseason Losses: E. Gattis, J. Upton, J. Heyward, K. Medlen
Key Offseason Adds: N. Markakis S. Miller, J. Gomes, A.J Pierzynski, A. Callaspo, J. Johnson, J. Grilli, D. Toscano
Shelby Miller is a dominant pitcher that will immediately strengthen this rotation. Julio Teheran and Alex Wood are also dominant pitchers in the rotation that will lead this team through the 2015 season. Shelby Miller looking to bounce back from a shaky 2014 season will succeed if his teammates can support him with runs. Pressure will be on Toscano if he can produce or not in order to manufacture runs. The Braves pitching staff has immensely gotten better with the acquisition of Shelby Miller and will be a powerhouse with this year to come, so it does take a little off of the hitters.
Baseball is,was, and always will be the greatest game in the world
Jake Wesley is now the only writer for MLB_NL_AL.com all of these articles are ether based on facts and pieces of his opinion.