For the first time since qualifying offers came into the Major League Baseball in 2012, a player has accepted. That player is Colby Rasmus of the Houston Astros, according Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The report from Rosenthal was confirmed by the Astros on Friday.
The deal is a $15.8 million for the 2016 season, which is the same for every player that has been given a qualifying offer this offseason.
In the first three years of the MLB's collective bargaining agreement, 34 offers were made and 34 were turned down. This offseason, 20 offers were made and one player has already accepted. Players have until Friday at 5:00 PM ET to officially accept or decline qualifying offers. If Rasmus would have declined the deal and signed with a different team, Houston would have received a compensation draft pick from the team that signed Rasmus. The game goes for all other qualifying offer situations.
It was originally projected that Rasmus had an outside chance to accept the deal because many teams would have been ready to give him a multi-year deal. Since he accepted it, the outfielder must value the city of Houston and short-term money more than long term reassurance. It also proves that the 29-year-old believes he can have a breakout season to lock him for a multi-year deal next offseason. Last season, Rasmus was on a one-year, $8 million deal.
Rasmus, a 28th overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals has bounced around with the Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and Astros over his seven-year career. Jeff Luhnow, who is the current Astros general manager, helped draft Rasmus as the scouting director with St. Louis.
"We are thrilled to have Colby back. We're excited Colby will be here for another year. We like our outfield," said Luhnow.
The 2015 season was the most productive for the outfielder, who was used as a platoon batter for most his career. Rasmus hit .238/.314/.475 with 25 home runs and 61 RBI over 137 games. Meanwhile, he added a .412 batting average with four home runs and six RBI over six games this postseason, one against the New York Yankees and five against the Kansas City Royals.
In 2009, Rasmus appeared in his first postseason for the Cardinals in the National League Division Series. Over three games he hit .444 with three doubles and an RBI. After his previous postseason stats, it has been proven that Rasmus is a reliable bat if his team can find the playoffs.
"I want to help get this team back to the postseason and hopefully we can win the World Series," Rasmus said about the playoffs. "That's the ultimate goal."
Making an attempt for a second-straight playoff appearances, Houston will be bringing back their outfield of Carlos Gomez, George Springer and Rasmus, barring a trade.
"I've already got some text messages from some boys on the team. We're all hungry. I'm super pumped," Rasmus said regarding his teammates.