The Tampa Bay Rays appear to be demonstrating interest in outfielder Colby Rasmus. The club has engaged in discussions with the 28-year-old, per FOX Sports' Jon Morosi, who also adds that the Rays could seek to add another outfielder in the wake of a potential Ben Zobrist trade.
As Chris Cotillo noted earlier today, Rasmus' market has yet to pick up, which could lead to him accepting a one-year deal in hope of improving his stock and reentering the free agent market next offseason. On a one-year deal, Rasmus would seem to make much more sense for the cash-strapped Rays, who recently gave Asdrubal Cabrera a deal of that ilk. Any risk would certainly be minimized on a one-year deal, and Tampa could always turn around and flip Rasmus at the deadline.
Of course, there is no obvious fit for Rasmus with the Rays at the moment. The club is slated to employ Zobrist, Desmond Jennings, and Kevin Kiermaier as its starting outfielders, with Steven Souza standing in as the designated hitter and David DeJesus on the bench. Zobrist has been a frequent trade rumor subject of late, so a jettisoning of him could open up a spot for Rasmus.
Rasmus has been quite enigmatic throughout his career, rising through the ranks as an elite prospect and posting a 130 wRC+ in just his second big league season, before his ousting from St. Louis and a pair of dismal seasons in 2011 and 2012. He rebounded with a strong 2013 campaign (129 wRC+, 4.8 WAR), but was more mediocre last season, hitting .225/.287/.448 with an above-average 103 wRC+, but just a 0.6 WAR due to some poor defense in center field. He was also limited to just 104 games due to hamstring issues. Considering Rasmus' sporadic play and supposedly questionable makeup, he is somewhat of a risky signing.
Rasmus has also drawn significant interest from the Baltimore Orioles, who are looking to shore up their own outfield. Orioles manager Buck Showalter met with Rasmus on Sunday to evaluate his fit within the clubhouse, and while it's unclear what the club took away from the meeting, Rasmus has expressed a rather favorable impression.