In what has been a pretty slow Hot Stove League since the end of November, the Tampa Bay Rays appear to have made their premier acquisition so far this offseason, signing Colby Rasmus to a one-year deal to be their designated hitter and center fielder. The 30-year old Rasmus is coming off a season in which he only played 107 games for the Houston Astros, hitting 15 home runs and only a .206 / .286 / .355 batting line. In that time, Rasmus struck out at a 29% rate in 2016, with 121 strikeouts in 417 plate appearances.
Right now, Rasmus should be helpful in Tampa Bay because he is versatile. The Rays have multi-year Gold Glover Kevin Kiermaier in CF, along with Steven Souza in right field and Corey Dickerson in left field and 80-tool name winner Mikie Mahtook on the bench. Rasmus can spell the main three outfielders’ time in the outfield and share the designated hitter and first baseman positions with Brad Miller, Wilson Ramos and Evan Longoria. On paper, Rasmus is a good fit for a Rays team that needs more improvement and lacking that over the horizon. If worse comes to worse, they could flip him at the deadline for a pitcher.