Blue Jays, Colby Rasmus Avoid Arbitration

The Blue Jays have avoided arbitration with center fielder Colby Rasmus by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $7MM, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link). This is Rasmus' final year of arbitration eligibility, as he'll be a free agent in the offseason.

Rasmus, 27, is represented by Excel Sports Management. The left-handed swinger batted .276/.338/.501 with 22 homers for the Blue Jays in 2013 and played strong defense in center field according to UZR/150 (+15.2) and The Fielding Bible's Defensive Runs saved metric (+11). Rasmus will be one of the most appealing free agents on next year's market, though he could stand to cut down on this past season's 29.5 percent strikeout rate. His $7MM guarantee tops the projection of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz by $500K.

The Blue Jays originally acquired Rasmus from the Cardinals in a three-team trade that sent Edwin Jackson, Octavio Dotel, Marc Rzepczynski and Corey Patterson to St. Louis. Toronto has successfully avoided arbitration with all three of its arbitration eligible players (the others being Brett Cecil and Esmil Rogers), meaning GM Alex Anthopoulos can boast that he's never had to go to an arbitration hearing for at least another year.


25 Responses to Blue Jays, Colby Rasmus Avoid Arbitration Leave a Reply

  1. Comfy_Wastelander 2 years ago

    Age 27, coming off a good year and entering his contract year – career year coming right up.

    • itstheduke 2 years ago

      I hope you’re right, but he wouldn’t be the first player to flop in a contract year (see JJ, for example).

      • Comfy_Wastelander 2 years ago

        Yeah, it can definitely go sour. Hope he has a great year.
        I might be crazy, but I think Jacoby Ellsbury might be a decent comparison for Rasmus. Ellsbury showed flashes of big potential early in his career and then (like many before him) had his breakout year at 27. Not a perfect comp – trading some of Ellsbury’s speed for Rasmus’ power – but there are a fair amount of similarities if you squint real hard.
        Fortunate timing for Rasmus to be on track for free agency at his age.

        • LazerTown 2 years ago

          No. They really aren’t similar.
          Rasmus strikes out a ton, and Ellsbury actually turns out a pretty good obp. Ellsbury is about getting on base and getting runs, Rasmus is about trying to knock everything out of the park.

          • Comfy_Wastelander 2 years ago

            On further review, you’re definitely right. I was just glancing at OPS+ and WAR through age 26, but there’s not much else that really matches up there. I didn’t realize Rasmus was such a terrible base stealer too.

            Rasmus is a lot harder to pin down than I thought. His top two comps on BR through age 26 are Chris Young and Dewey Evans. It’s tough to triangulate much similarity between those three.

  2. Runtime 2 years ago

    I’m surprised they didn’t sign him to a multi-year deal.

  3. John Kreese 2 years ago

    What’s the word on Rasmus? Is TOR going to trade him? Sign him to an extension? Let him walk due to the fact Gose is close?

    • Jaysfan724 2 years ago

      They are basically waiting to see what he does this year. AA said he’s willing to pay more for Rasmus if he has a good year. He wants to make sure if the production they got from him last year is what they will get in the coming years.

    • TO647 2 years ago

      I guess we won’t find out until halfway through the season…that’s when AA signed Encarnacion to the extension last year, after proving his career year in 2012 was no fluke. Same thing applies for Rasmus IMO. If he or the team struggles, they’ll probably trade him at the deadline.

      • Runtime 2 years ago

        I’d say he gets a 5/$55 offer from the Jays.

        • TO647 2 years ago

          Sounds about right…AA loves those team-friendly deals.

    • itstheduke 2 years ago

      “Let him walk do to the fact Gose is close?”

      Man you made my head hurt.

      • Runtime 2 years ago

        I know, eh?
        Gose isn’t anywhere near “close”.

        • itstheduke 2 years ago

          and “do” is not anywhere near “due” :)

          • Runtime 2 years ago

            Didn’t even notice that the first time, good call.

  4. Lionel Bossman Craft 2 years ago

    He got more then Brett Gardner.

    • Aron 2 years ago

      lol obviously, have you seen their career numbers?

      • Lionel Bossman Craft 2 years ago

        Which is my point, Rasmus has a career .248 batting average. His career OBP is .317 compared to Gardner’s .352

        • Torontopoly 2 years ago

          Why are we comparing what players signed for to avoid arbitration to career numbers? Rasmus got paid significantly more in 2013 and had a better year than Gardner which is why he got a higher 1 year deal. We’ll see what happens during the year when it comes to extension time or free agency if that’s the way things go.

        • Aron 2 years ago

          Yay! cherry picking stats! How about OPS, HRs, RBIs and even runs?

          • Lionel Bossman Craft 2 years ago

            Or triples, stolen bases, fielding %, and UZR.

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      They base these on what is expected in Arbitration. Arb doesn’t pay players like Gardner very good typically. Arbitrators love home runs, and could care less about walks.

  5. Aron 2 years ago

    The Jays have to sign this guy to an extension, I’d say 4 years 56 mil. Pricey but likely what he could get as a FA. He just has to keep hitting .270 plus with the same power, hopefully lower his K rates and that would be a steal of a deal. Oh that reminds me he should swipe some more bags too, he has underrated speed. I think the Jays may just need some new 1B and 3B coaches, him and Lawrie could really use the baserunning help

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      That sounds like a disaster, unless he can prove that he can do what he did this year isn’t a fluke.

  6. SanFranPanda 2 years ago

    I was led to believe “Esmil” Rogers’ first name was “Ishmael”, thanks Buck Martinez.

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