The Tampa Bay Rays agreed to sign outfielder Colby Rasmus Monday, according to media reports.
Rasmus and the Rays agreed to a one-year contract worth around $5 million. Incentives in the contract could push the contract up to around $7 million.
Rasmus is coming off of a down season with the Houston Astros after he bet on himself last offseason by taking their one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer. Unfortuantely for him, it did not appear to pay off, as he has to rebuild value now in Tampa Bay.
The fit of Rasmus in Tampa Bay is obvious. The team ranked 21st in the Major Leagues in fWAR from their outfield, and they ranked 25th in wRC+. At the very least, Rasmus will be good defensively for the Rays, and if he can find his old form, he would be a good asset in the lineup as well.
Perhaps, even, the Rays could consider trading Rasmus for prospects at the trade deadline if they are not in contention. A one-year deal for them is low-risk and could provide high rewards.
The 2017 Rays project to have Rasmus playing in left field alongside the likes of stellar defender Kevin Kiermaier in center and Steven Souza in right.
The 30-year-old Rasmus posted the worst offensive season of his career in 2016, slashing just .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs over 417 plate appearances. Good outfield defense made him worth 1.4 Wins Above Replacement, per FanGraphs.
Rasmus will become a free agent again next offseason, where he hopes to earn a larger contract.
FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman was the first to report the Rays' signing of Rasmus, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported the contract details.