The Houston Astros have announced the signing of outfielder Colby Rasmus to a one-year deal today. Rasmus will make $8 million this year, according to Matt Yallof of MLB Network. Rasmus' deal with the Astros includes no options, according to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports.
Rasmus, 28, is coming off a season in which he slashed .225/.287/.448 with 18 home runs and 40 runs batted in over 376 plate appearances with the Blue Jays. He missed 33 games last season, with a hamstring strain. Believe it or not, the numbers he did post were better than average, as according to both Adjusted OPS+ (104) and Weighted Runs Created Plus (103), Rasmus was better than the average player offensively in the major leagues.
Defensively, Rasmus saw his worst season in the outfield since 2011. He registered a -7 defensive runs saved and a -15.3 Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 games, both career-worsts. Rasmus, traditionally a very good fielder, finished 75th out of 81 fielders in the Major Leagues among outfielders in UZR/150 (minimum 700 innings played). The Astros need to hope for a rebound in 2015.
The Astros just yesterday traded center fielder Dexter Fowler to the Cubs, so Rasmus will slide in nicely there. In the outfield, it appears that he will be playing alongside Evan Gattis and George Springer in 2015. The Astros have done a lot to upgrade their team next year and could perhaps be a sleeper to contend in the American League next season.
Over his career, Rasmus has slashed .246/.313/.438 with 116 home runs and 352 runs batted in over six years in the big leagues, three mostly with the Blue Jays and three mostly with the Cardinals. Rasmus, the 28th overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft, will be reunited with Astros GM Jeff Luhnow, who, in 2005, helped to pick Rasmus as the vice president of player procurement for St. Louis.