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Tampa Bay Rays Reach Agreement with Colby Rasmus

The Rays have found the outfielder they’ve been looking for

MLB: Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays have reportedly reached a deal with free agent outfielder, Colby Rasmus. The specifics of the agreement are not yet known. This has been reported by both Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman

Rasmus, 30, is an eight year major league veteran. He spent last season (as well as 2015) with the Houston Astros and provided a decent year for them despite putting up less than stellar offensive numbers as he slashed .206/.286/.355 with 15 HR over 107 games, good for 75 wRC+, while he spent the bulk of his playing time manning left field accruing a total of 1.4 fWAR.

The Rays had been seeking a fourth outfielder all off-season as they were lacking any solid depth behind Kevin Kiermaier in the organization. Rasmus emerged as a Rays were still looking for outfield depth back in December, when Daniel Russell wrote:

For my money, I’ll bet on Colby Rasmus, who is somehow still a free agent. He is one year removed from posting a 117 wRC+ in Houston, two years removed from back-to-back competitive seasons in the AL East with Toronto. He accepted a qualifying offer for 2016 and hit poorly, but performed well above average in left field, and is capable in any outfield slot. At age 30, he bats from the left side with a 10% walk rate, and has a 29% strikeout rate that doesn’t scare away the Rays.

Joe Biggs had plenty more to say about Rasmus when he wrote him up as a target for the Rays later in December.

Colby Rasmus played for the Toronto Blue Jays while the Rays new hitting coach Chad Mottola was with the team, so that may helped things along.

Once the deal is completed and official, the Rays will need to clear a spot on the 40-man roster, whether it be by trade or other means. Things have been quiet for the Rays hot stove ever since the Winter Meetings concluded in early December but the Rasmus signing, talks may start intensifying.