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Orioles forced to consider Rasmus after free agent defections

The Baltimore Orioles have been particularly hard hit by free agency so far this offseason with both Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis bolting town for greener bank accounts.

If that's not tough enough for O's fans to swallow, the club has been forced to consider former St. Louis Cardinals enigma Colby Rasmus as a replacement for the lost outfielders according to a CBS report.

Yikes.

Rasmus, the one-time top prospect whom the Redbirds traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for a bunch of players with expiring contracts in 2011, was supposed to be a strong-armed outfielder who could both run and hit for power. (Fortunately, subtracting a supposed core piece and replacing him with a bunch of journeymen was the boost the Cardinals needed to go to and win the World Series.)

Now 28, Rasmus was set free by the Blue Jays who were at one time firmly convinced they could free the lefty flychaser's talent after he was liberated from the mean, old Cardinals and former manager Tony La Russa. That optimism was turned into 3+ excruciating years of coddling the pouty Rasmus who publicly stated more than once that he was tired of those darned coaches tryin' to tell him what to do all the time. There were also public statements about how he didn't want to go through the hassle of trying to be great. Ol' Colby just wanted to relax and have some fun playin' ball like he did in high school.

An underachiever with St. Louis with a .259 batting average, .334 on base percentage and .444 slugging percentage, Rasmus was worse with Toronto hitting .234 with a .295 on base percentage and a .433 slugging percentage.

The best part is that Rasmus, despite the fact that Toronto benched him in the second half last year -- after batting him eighth for a while -- will likely still "earn" several million dollars based on his untapped "potential."

Last year he made $7 million to hit .225 with 124 strikeouts with 29 walks in 376 plate appearances.

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