Every year major league general managers pass out qualifying offers to players hoping for nothing more than to land a draft pick when that player signs elsewhere.
Finally one of them has been burned.
Former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus was extended a qualifying offer by another former Cardinal, Houston GM Jeff Luhnow. And, three years after the concept of the qualifying offer was launched, Rasmus became the first player to actually accept the accompanying 1-year contract for the average of the top 125 salaries in baseball.
That’s $15.8 million for a guy who hit .238. Sure, Rasmus hit 25 homers. But he played his home games in the most homer-friendly park in baseball.
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It’s a steep price to pay, even if Houston doesn’t mind keeping Rasmus -- and his meddling father -- around for another year.
Rasmus made $8 million in 2015, only able to secure a one-year deal from the guy who drafted him after wearing out his welcome in Toronto by refusing to be coached. That was after he whined his way out of St. Louis with allegations that former manager Tony La Russa and Cardinals veteran players were too mean to him.
It’s probably not a back-breaking figure for the Astros who have a roster stocked with inexpensive young talent. But it’s never good to over-pay for players. It only drives up the price of future acquisitions.
Rasmus can’t be blamed for this one.
He really had no choice but to take the offer. Would another team really be willing to cough up its first-round draft pick for such a questionable player?
Rasmus would have likely ended up waiting until after the season started to sign a lesser deal after the draft pick compensation expired.
It was a no-brainer for him to accept. And thinking has never been Colby’s strong suit.