In what should not come as much of a surprise, the Baltimore Orioles sign another player who is inexpensive to a minor-league deal.
If this signing has you shaking your head in wonder, you are not alone. Rasmus is only 31 years old, but his performance has dropped off dramatically since he was with the Toronto Blue Jays. And, even then, he wasn’t too special.
Rasmus has played with a handful of teams, with the majority of this time – four seasons – with the Blue Jays. He began his MLB career with the St. Louis Cardinals. He also spent two seasons with the Houston Astros and he was with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017.
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According to an article by Eduardo A. Encina with The Baltimore Sun, Dan Duquette was interesting in Rasmus during the 2017 season, but:
"“…but there was question as to whether he wanted to play in 2018 after spending the second half of last season on the restricted list because he decided he wanted to “step away from baseball.”"
Rasmus was an inexpensive addition to the Orioles and he can play all three outfield positions. In his nine seasons in the MLB, his career slash is .242/.311/.438. He averages 18 home runs per year – which is better than Presley’s and Joey Rickard‘s numbers. While his numbers aren’t inspirational by any means, he can produce. In fact, he has only had one season with a negative WAR and that was 2011.
If Rasmus can produce, he will most likely not stick around in Birdland for very long. The Orioles have several young outfielders who are knocking on the doors of Camden Yards. Rasmus is clearly a short-term fill-in until Austin Hays or DJ Stewart are ready for daily play in Birdland. Even Anthony Santander, who still has to fulfill is Rule-5 obligations, could take one of the spots in the outfield.
With several Orioles entering free agency, someone like Rasmus could fill in if the O’s decide to trade Adam Jones at the deadline. As much as we would all like to see Adam Jones extended, he clearly wants to play on a team that is dedicated to winning. If the O’s were as dedicated as Jones, they would have signed someone like Carlos Gonzalez instead of Rasmus.