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Slugging outfielder Tomas defects from Cuba

Residency in another country must be established before he can sign with MLB team

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Slugging outfielder Tomas defects from Cuba play video for Slugging outfielder Tomas defects from Cuba

Another hard-hitting Cuban outfielder could soon be on the market.

Yasmany Tomas, a 23-year-old on Havana's Industriales, has defected. Cuban newspaper Granma confirmed the defection on Friday. He was in the Dominican Republic and exploring his options, a source told MLB.com.

According to BaseballdeCuba.com, Tomas hit .286 last season with 15 home runs, 60 RBIs and 45 runs scored.

Tomas, a 6-foot-1, 230-pound slugger, is most noted for his power. Reports indicate that Tomas' power is a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He profiles as a corner outfielder and will most likely need time at Triple-A before joining a Major League team.

Tomas needs to establish residence in another foreign country and be cleared by Major League Baseball and the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control before being declared a free agent.

Other Cuban sluggers to defect in recent years include Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes, the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig and Jose Abreu of the White Sox.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. Reporter Jesse Sanchez contributed. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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