Houston Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus will accept the team's one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer and return to the club in 2016, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Rasmus will become the first player in Major League Baseball history to accept a qualifying offer and forego free agency. Over the past three years, 34 players have been offered qualifying offers and none have been accepted.
This season, a record 20 qualifying offers were dished out to players, leading many to think that this could be the year where the first player accepts the $15.8 million deal.
The 29-year-old Rasmus had a lot of things to consider when accepting his qualifying offer. He knew that by accepting, he would forego his free agency until next season.
If Rasmus has another good year in 2016, then he could make even more money than he would have this season. Besides, $15.8 million, which is what he will make next year, is not chump change. In fact, it is the average of the top 125 salaries in the league.
Also, Rasmus had to consider his market. This offseason, Jason Heyward, Alex Gordon, Dexter Fowler, Denard Span, and Nori Aoki are all also free agents, which could have depleted Rasmus' market from a overall value standpoint.
Next offseason, the outfield free agency market includes fewer top names, which could lead to a larger contract for Rasmus.
This season, Rasmus hit .238/.314/.475 with 25 home runs and 61 RBIs over 485 plate appearances. He was worth 2.8 Wins Above Replacement, according to FanGraphs.
With Rasmus coming back to Houston, this will likely take them out of the outfield free agent market this offseason.