clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cubs Interested In Free Agent Outfielder Colby Rasmus

New, 164 comments

Here's a rumor to perk up your Sunday afternoon.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Cubs made three big moves last week, signing starting pitchers Jon Lester and Jason Hammel and trading for catcher Miguel Montero.

Some of you have thought the Cubs might make another "big" move. This rumor doesn't really qualify as such, but I thought I'd pass along this one from Sportsnet Canada in an article mainly talking about the White Sox signing Melky Cabrera:

Another former Blue Jays outfielder could also find his way to the Windy City.

The cross-town Cubs recently met with Colby Rasmus, and are one of several teams to have shown interest in the centre-fielder.

Rasmus struggled to a .225/.287/.448 slash line last season but still hit 18 home runs in a down season at a premium position. Manager Joe Maddon, known for his ability to get the best from his players, may help him regain his 2013 from when Rasmus batted .276/.338/.501 with 22 homers and 66 RBIs, producing a WAR of 4.8.

The Cubs could use a true center fielder and Rasmus surely qualifies as that. He has in the past produced positive defensive value (1.5 defensive bWAR in 2013, noted above as one of his better seasons).

The downsides to Rasmus have been well-documented, and some of them are noted in this Toronto Star article from last August, where his father, who's been accused of keeping too tight a rein on him and coaching him in ways his teams didn't necessarily like, is extensively quoted.

Rasmus was a No. 1 pick of the Cardinals in 2005 and a top-10 prospect in all of baseball in both the Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus rankings in 2008 and 2009. Even with all his troubles, he's hit 116 major-league home runs, put up an overall .751 OPS (103 OPS+) and 13.2 bWAR in six major-league seasons.

He's 28. It's entirely possible that he's a perfect change-of-scenery guy who could blossom under Joe Maddon.

I think he's worth a shot. He made $7 million last year, so unless the Cubs wanted to lavish him with a multiyear deal he might not cost that much. Signing Rasmus would probably spell the end of Ryan Sweeney's Cubs career.

What say you?