The Astros have agreed to a one-year, $8 million contract with outfielder Colby Rasmus, as reported by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com. It was reported earlier in the day that Rasmus was in Houston to take a physical, after a reader of SB Nation's Crawfish Boxes commented that he had spotted Rasmus at a hotel in the city.
Rasmus was linked to the Blue Jays and Orioles before signing on with the Astros, though the Orioles were reportedly unwilling to pay him more than $7 million despite their need for outfielders caused by the departures of Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz. The Astros did not make sense as a fit until Monday, when they traded Dexter Fowler to the Cubs and created an opening in their outfield.
Rasmus, 28, will likely play center for the Astros, alongside newcomer Evan Gattis and young star George Springer. Jake Marisnick, Robbie Grossman, Alex Presley and L.J. Hoes are also in the mix for outfield spots, though Houston may look to trade one of those players and have been known to be shopping Hoes throughout the winter. The signing of Rasmus is the latest move in a busy offseason for Houston, as they have also added Gattis, Jed Lowrie, Luke Gregerson, Pat Neshek, Luis Valbuena and Dan Straily and appear on the verge of signing Ryan Vogelsong as well.
Rasmus spent last season with the Jays, hitting .225/.287/.448 with eighteen home runs and 40 RBI in 104 games. His stats have been up-and-down throughout his career, leading to a lifetime .246/.313/.438 line with 116 home runs in six major-league seasons with the Cardinals (2009-2011) and Blue Jays (2012-2014). A key to his signing with the Astros is likely the familiarity with general manager Jeff Luhnow, who originally drafted him with the Cardinals in 2005.