Don’t look now, but the Houston Astros and Colby Rasmus just made history on November 12th, 2015. That’s right, the 29-year old veteran outfielder has accepted the Astros $15.8 million qualifying offer and will become the first player since the qualifying offer system was implemented three years ago to do so.
But how does this impact the Astros offseason plans? In many ways actually.
For one, Rasmus’ decision may impact the organization’s plans in their pursuit of certain free agents due to draft pick compensation and available budget. So high-priced free agents such as Alex Gordon and Chris Davis may now be out of reach due to this development. Less expensive options that the Astros have been linked to in recent days, like Doug Fister or Mike Napoli, may not be feasible additions as well due to possible financial constraints.
Not to mention that decisions may need to be made regarding the future of Chris Carter, Luis Valbuena, and Evan Gattis in Astros uniforms. With $15.8 million now tied into Rasmus alone for next season, general manager Jeff Luhnow will have to decide how much of the budget he may want to invest in other areas of the club, specifically involving arbitration. And if the Astros front office wishes to add an impact free agent then a trade may need to be a precursor transaction before any signing takes place.
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However, retaining Rasmus though for next season does keep one of the most athletic outfields in 2015 together for one more season. He did after all hit a career-high 25 Colby Jack’s (home runs) to go with 61 RBI. And between Rasmus, Springer, Gomez, and Marisnick, the outfield defense should continue to be better than average.
But no doubt this latest development will send ripple effects throughout the Astros organization. Playing time for other players, such as Preston Tucker and Jon Singleton, may be impacted as well.
At the end of the day, though, the Astros were fine with keeping Rasmus, even if it came almost double of his 2015 salary. And the former Cardinal and Blue Jay was fine with making Houston home next season. At least Rasmus won’t have to worry where to park his truck next year.
**Statistics provided by Fangraphs.com**