Rasmus becomes the first player to accept a qualifying offer. As Rosenthal notes, all 34 players who were extended qualifying offers over the past three years all declined.
Rasmus was one of a record 20 free agents to receive a qualifying offer last Friday. The assumption, as it was with most free agents, was that he would decline and sign elsewhere. Doing so would net the Astros a compensatory draft pick in 2016. However, Rasmus’ agent clearly felt that he was going to have a tough time in the market with a draft pick attached. So now he gets a nice one-year deal and will give it another try next offseason.
As for the Astros, this is probably more than they’d want to pay Rasmus, but fortunately it’s only a one-year deal. And it’s not like he wasn’t productive this season. The 29-year-old slugged 25 home runs with a .789 OPS over 137 games. Now that the Astros know he’s coming back, they could explore trading Evan Gattis to upgrade in other areas.
Free agents have until tomorrow at 5 p.m. ET to accept or decline their qualifying offers. You can view the complete list here.