Craig Calcaterra

Colby Rasmus

It’s official: Colby Rasmus is the first player to accept a qualifying offer

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The possibility of this was first reported last night but now it’s official: Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus is the first player to accept a qualifying offer. He’ll be paid $15.8 million next season and cannot be traded without his consent before June 15 of next year. Before this year all 34 players who had previously received qualifying offers over the past three offseasons rejected them.

Twenty players received qualifying offers last week. Free agents have until 5 p.m. ET this afternoon to accept or decline their qualifying offers. You can view the complete list of QO-attached players here.

Rasmus, 29, hit 25 home runs and posted a .789 OPS over 137 games in 2015. That’s pretty good, but in an offseason with a pretty crowded free agent market for outfielders, he no doubt figured $15.8 million in hand was worth more than whatever he and his agent could find in the bush. And maybe he just liked playing in Houston, which is the first stop in his career where he appears to be well-liked by team brass and his teammates. That has to count for something.

The Giants are doing background work on David Price

David Price
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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Giants are among the clubs “going through background preparation” on David Price.

Which makes a lot of sense given that they’re saying goodbye to Tim Hudson this year and that, beyond Madison Bumgarner, the rotation was no great shakes in 2015. The Giants, flush with a sellout streak and an election victory which is going to allow them to rake in a lot more money in the next few years, are suspected to be in search of top-flight pitching this winter and David Price is as top-flight as it gets.

 

Don’t run on to a baseball field, you guys

The judge's gavel is seen in court room 422 of the New York Supreme Court at 60 Centre Street February 3, 2012. REUTERS/Chip East
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The idea of running onto a baseball field during a game used to be mildly cute. At least if you weren’t violent or dumb or something. Morganna the Kissing Bandit was sort of fun in a “we didn’t think too hard about a lot of things in the 70s and early 80s” kind of way. Streakers were hilarious for about 15 minutes back in 1974. Since then? Some ne’er-do-wells occasionally run onto the field but they’re apprehended and quickly forgotten. Or apprehended and immortalized.

Do it now, though, and it’s serious business:

A 19-year-old Indiana man is getting one year of probation and has been ordered to perform 100 hours of community service for running onto the field during a Cincinnati Reds home game in July.

That seems kinda stiff for a misdemeanor trespassing beef. I suppose in this paranoid and authoritarian day and age he should be thankful he wasn’t indicted on some sort of terrorism-at-a-public-event charge, but it still seems like a lot for a 50-yard run through an outfield and out again.