The Braves acknowledge that they will need to gather more data before gaining a better understanding of how successful Dian Toscano might be at the Major League level. But a recent workout impressed them enough to offer the Cuban outfielder $6 million over the next four years.
An industry source informed MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez of the financial details of the deal Toscano and the Braves agreed upon during last week's Winter Meetings. The four-year contract, which is pending a physical, includes a fifth-year option that would increase the total value of the package to $7.5 million.
If Toscano passes the physical, which has not yet been scheduled, he will receive $6 million over the next four seasons. The option for the 2019 season would be worth $1.5 million.
Because the 25-year-old Toscano played five seasons in Cuba's Serie Nacional, he does not count against Atlanta's international signing bonus allotment.
Toscano is a 6-foot, 200-pound left-handed hitter who was recognized in Cuba for his plate discipline. He has not shown great power and his limited arm strength provides reason to believe he would spend most of his time in left field. He will likely need to gain some Minor League seasoning before getting a call to the Major League level.
Because he never played in international events for the Cuban national team, Toscano was a relatively obscure figure before he escaped Cuba and reached the Dominican Republic earlier this year.
Gordon Blakeley, a special assistant to the general manager who now heads Atlanta's international scouting efforts, has seen Toscano on multiple occasions this year.
When the Braves were pursuing Yasmany Tomas, a higher-profile Cuban outfielder who ended up signing a six-year, $68.5 million deal with the D-backs, they sent manager Fredi Gonzalez, bench coach Carlos Tosca, hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, special assistant to the GM Roy Clark, assistant GM John Coppolella and Blakeley to the Dominican Republic to conduct a workout.
Along with evaluating Tomas during this trip to the D.R., this entire Braves contingent watched Toscano and saw enough potential to provide him this low-risk offer.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.