Free-agent outfielder Colby Rasmus underwent a pair of surgical procedures on Oct. 18, reports Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi — one to shave down a bone spur and to repair the labrum in his left hip and another to repair a core muscle. Certainly, those procedures and Rasmus’ progress will be focal points in conversations between Rasmus’ agents at Excel Sports and interested teams this winter. Davidi writes that Rasmus is projected to be running at full strength come January and is currently on target to be healthy for Spring Training.
Rasmus, who turned 30 in August, had a nice first year with the Astros in 2015 when he hit .238/.314/.475 with a career-high 25 home runs. That season prompted the ’Stros to make a one-year, $15.8MM qualifying offer, which Rasmus elected to accept, thereby becoming the first player in Major League history to accept a QO. However, Rasmus was plagued by injuries throughout the season (he also missed more than a month after having a cyst removed from his ear) and ultimately finished with just a .206/.286/.355 batting line and 15 homers in 107 games. Between that lack of production and the aforementioned operations, his stock has taken a fairly notable hit over the past 12 months.
Rasmus did, however, play terrific defense in left field this year; he’s one of three Gold Glove finalists among AL left fielders this season and finished the year with outstanding marks from Defensive Runs Saved (+14) and Ultimate Zone Rating (+11.3) in just 672 innings. Rasmus also logged time in center field and right field, drawing positive ratings at each of those positions from both metrics as well. Overall, he racked up a career-high 13 outfield assists despite logging the second-fewest number of innings he’s ever tallied in a single season at the Major League level.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow implied after the season that a reunion with Rasmus was unlikely, telling reporters at the end-of-season press conference that Rasmus, “…did not have the year he was hoping to have following up a pretty successful campaign last year. He still has value to Major League teams and I’m sure he’ll have an opportunity to sign somewhere, but we’re not sure how or if he fits into our plans at this point. It’s something we’re going to have to talk about as a group as we make some decisions looking forward.” Davidi, perhaps unsurprisingly, characterizes a return to the Blue Jays as “unlikely” for Rasmus as well. However, there figures to be no shortage of clubs on the lookout for outfield help this winter, and Rasmus’ ability to contribute quality defense even in the midst of some notable injuries as well as his history of 20- to 25-homer pop should indeed generate interest in him on the open market.