Colby Rasmus trying to keep his father out of his game

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The influence exerted by father and former coach Tony Rasmus always got a big part of the blame when the relationship between Colby Rasmus and the Cardinals went south. Colby, for his part, doesn’t want to see the same thing happen in Toronto.

“I’m trying not to talk to him a whole lot,” Rasmus said recently. “I just tell him I need more positive influence because I got enough negative influence over in St. Louis in the early going. I think all that negative energy kept me down while I was there. I really never let it go.”
Rick Hummel has a nice, lengthy writeup on Rasmus, his struggles with the Cardinals and his fresh start with the Blue Jays over at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. There’s a lot of good stuff in it, though he concluded it with a completely unnecessary cheap shot:
Like his Cardinals predecessor of 12 to 15 years ago, J.D. Drew, Rasmus seems to have little desire to be a great player.
Maybe I wouldn’t mind it so much if he subbed in “star” for “great player” there, because there’s definitely a difference in cases like this.

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.