cuba featureOne of the top bats on the free agent market this offseason is now actually on the free agent market.

Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas, who recently worked out for teams in the Dominican Republic after his defection, has officially been granted free agency by MLB, according to his agent, Jay Alou (h/t MLBTR). Because he’s already been unblocked by the U.S. Government, Tomas is now free to sign with any team. And because he’s not subject to any IFA restrictions, he’s gonna get paaaaaid.

Tomas is just 23, and shows huge power upside. In a game featuring dwindling offensive production and dwindling opportunities to grab prime age talent for just money, Tomas represents a rare chance for teams to get a great offensive player for all of his prime years. Contracts for elite Cuban defectors are skyrocketing, and it’s not inconceivable that Tomas could net north of $100 million.

The Cubs have not been connected to Tomas by any explicit rumors, only by dot-connectors who see the Cubs’ available dollars, desire for prime-age talent, and outfield need making Tomas an attractive target. Given the possibly explosive price tag and the Cubs’ positional pool of talent, it’s possible they’ll decide their funds are best used elsewhere.

Even if the Cubs aren’t involved in Tomas, he could still impact their offseason by muddying up the outfield market – and possibly creating an opportunity there for the Cubs to grab someone else – and/or by taking a big spender out of the running for a pricey pitcher.

In other words, following Tomas’s free agency remains a very important piece of the offseason process.