The Orioles announced today that they have placed outfielder Colby Rasmus on the restricted list. He informed the team that he has decided not to continue playing, Jon Meoli of the Baltmore Sun tweets.
This is the second time that Rasmus has elected to leave his current team in the middle of the season. Last July, the Rays made a restricted list placement when Rasmus decided he would leave the organization. But he ended up pursuing a comeback with the O’s over the ensuing winter, signing a minors pact that included a $3MM salary and $2MM in potential incentives if Rasmus cracked the MLB roster.
It was long apparent that Rasmus would likely go north with the O’s out of camp, and that’s just what happened. But he went onto the disabled list only ten days into the season, with a hip strain that cost him a long stretch.
Unlike last year, when Rasmus was quite effective when on the field, he has struggled quite a bit in 2018. Through 49 plate appearances, he has just six base hits — only two of which went for extra bases.
It is a bit difficult to imagine that Rasmus will resume playing after this decision, though there’s no indication as of yet that he has formally retired. Prior to his more recent teams, Rasmus played with the Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Astros over a ten-year career.
If this is the end of the line, the former first-round pick and top prospect will wrap things up with a mixed record. On the one hand, Rasmus turned in a few substantially above-average seasons as a hitter and defender. That said, he rarely put it all together on a consistent basis and ended several of his stops on less-than-favorable terms. In the aggregate, Rasmus compiled an approximately league-average .241/.310/.436 batting line and hit 166 home runs over 4,119 career MLB plate appearances.