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.
Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman has undergone his second surgery of the offseason. After feeling continued discomfort in his left shoulder, he had a distal clavicle resection on Friday, for which he’ll be sidelined at least six weeks before getting cleared to resume his preseason workout regimen.
The 25-year-old corner infielder closed out his sophomore season in the majors in 2018. He batted a terrific .278/.356/.508 with 24 home runs, an .864 OPS and 6.5 fWAR across 616 plate appearances, received his first career Gold Glove distinction and was a finalist for the American League MVP award as well. Despite recent complications, Chapman’s regular season performance wasn’t marred by injury — he sustained a right thumb contusion in June, but bounced back within three weeks and enjoyed a strong second half — and the A’s will undoubtedly look to him as one of their strongest performers in 2019.
Friday’s procedure was his second of the year, as he also underwent an ulnar sided sesamoid bone excision in his thumb back in October. Per Lee and MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa, Chapman is expected to make a complete recovery within a two-month window, after which point he’ll likely be in fine shape to contribute during spring training.