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Orioles sign Colby Rasmus to minor-league deal

The veteran outfielder heads to camp with Baltimore after stepping away from the Rays last summer.

Tampa Bay Rays v Detroit Tigers Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

The Orioles have signed outfielder Colby Rasmus to a minor-league deal, as Mark Feinsand of and Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reported.

It’s difficult to say that the veteran will be returning to the AL East this year, seeing as he was barely there last year, only playing 37 games with the Rays after dealing with complications from hip surgery and mysteriously “stepping away” from baseball in mid-July. He’s the second outfield addition and fourth overall addition for the O’s since camp opened, joining Alex Presley and pitchers Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman.

For what little time he had, Rasmus slashed .281/.318/.579 and nine home runs in 129 plate appearances before heading back on the DL. Tampa Bay placed him on the restricted list after he informed the club he’d be stepping away.

While his health concerns are minimal going into spring, Rasmus will have to prove to Baltimore that he deserves a spot in their lineup. We shouldn’t forget the Rasmus of yore, who averaged 21 home runs over 5 seasons, and Baltimore has been after a lefty outfielder for a while. If the veteran comes back even a fraction of that, both parties will be in a pretty good place. The move is a a low risk, high reward one for Baltimore and a chance for Rasmus to ease back into baseball after an emotionally and physically draining 2017.