Cubs interested in free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus

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From Shi Davidi of Toronto’s Sportsnet.ca

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.

The other “former Blue Jays outfielder” that Davidi is referring to is Melky Cabrera, who agreed to terms on a three-year, $42 million free agent contract with the Chicago White Sox late Saturday night.

Rasmus batted just .225 with a .287 on-base percentage in 2014 for the Blue Jays, eventually getting benched. But he is only 28 years old and was a 4.8 fWAR player in 2013, hitting .276/.338/.501 with 22 home runs.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon is known for utilizing platoons and Rasmus, a left-handed hitter, has good career numbers against right-handed pitchers. Adding him to the mix could ease some of the pressure on Arismendy Alcantara, who hit just .190/.215/.350 against right-handed pitching this past season as a 22-year-old rookie.

Rasmus had some major clashes with Tony La Russa in St. Louis and Rasmus has pointed to that rocky relationship as a reason he struggled to live up to his prospect hype. Maddon is very player-friendly, an embracer of odd personalities, and could maybe pull something out of Colby that his past skippers couldn’t.

The Orioles are also known to have some interest in working out a deal with Rasmus this winter.

Koji Uehara has retired

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Jim Allen of Kyodo News reports that Koji Uehara has retired from baseball.

Uehara, 44, has spent the past two seasons with the Yomiuri Giants, which is the where he began his career way back in 1998. He spent eight years there as a starter, winning 20 games in his rookie season, then one year as a closer and one year in swingman duties before coming to the United States.

Once in the majors he pitched for four different major league teams over nine seasons — the Orioles, Rangers, Red Sox and Cubs — from 2009-2017. In that time he posted an excellent 2.66 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, and 572/78 K/BB ratio in 480.2 innings and notched 95 saves. He won a World Series ring with the Red Sox in 2013 and was an All-Star in 2014. Uehara’s last big league stint in America with the Cubs in 2017, for whom he posted a 3.98 ERA (111 ERA+) in 49 games.

Happy trails to an excellent reliever.