Colby Rasmus reignited his career as a member of the Houston Astros in 2015, so it's no surprise that the 29-year-old has decided to extend his stay with the franchise as the team confirmed on Friday.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, first reported Rasmus would accept the team's qualifying offer for one year and $15.8 million. "Rasmus is the first free agent to ever accept a qualifying offer," Rosenthal added. "All 34 players who received QOs the past three years rejected them."
Rasmus' career arc has been unusual, to say the least. He arrived on the scene with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009, ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect by Baseball America. He put together a terrific 2010 season (.276/.361/.498) and seemed destined for stardom.
A feud involving Rasmus, Rasmus' father and former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa reportedly led to the outfielder being traded to Toronto in 2011. He put together another strong season in 2013, hitting .276/.338/.501. But in 2014 he slashed .225/.287/.448 with 18 home runs, so 2015's 25 homers and .789 OPS with the Astros put him back on track as a quality power hitter.
"Inconsistent" is the word that immediately comes to mind with Rasmus, but the good years are often very good. Using FanGraphs' metrics, he's had four seasons worth at least 2.5 wins above replacement and three years worth less than 1.0.
One thing Rasmus does provide is power, as he has ranked well among outfielders in homers and slugging percentage since 2010.
|Colby Rasmus MLB OF Ranks Since 2010|
There will always be limits to Rasmus' game, notably high strikeout totals. He has struck out at least 124 times in each of the last four seasons, but power is a commodity that every team is seeking. He was a big reason the Astros hit 230 homers last season (No. 2 in MLB behind Toronto's 232) and made their first playoff appearance since 2005.
With the Astros on the rise and building around a young core, having a solid veteran presence on the roster who plays at a high level will help the team stay in the playoff mix for years to come.