Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Avoiding Arbitration - A story about the Curious Colby Rasmus

Today the Toronto Blue Jays announced that they have avoided arbitration with one Colby Rasmus signing him to a one year contract worth 4.675 million for the 2013 season.  

Colby's year last year was definitely a weird one.  It saw him start the year off with a terrible string of bad luck that seemed like every time he hit the ball it was directly at someone,  he was moved to the 2 hole in the batting order and shined bright for about 6 weeks, he then got cold again and fell off the planet and hit about .170 for the rest of the year. Throw in a nagging groin injury, a .223 batting average, 23 home runs, 75 RBI, and OBP of .289, an OPS of .689 and there you have the 2012 year for Rasmus.

So this odd  and primarily disappointing year ultimately got him almost a 2 million dollar raise based  on a stretch of 6 weeks where is was arguably one of the best outfielders in the Majors.  

I think everyone is now starting to figure out why the Cardinals were willing to trade this former # 3 prospect to the Jays in the summer of 2011.  Sure we can all see the potential that is there in Colby.  He can hit for power, he has speed, great defense,  and in stretches can hit for average, but all too many times he will almost be invisible for stretches at the plate. Where is the guy who hit .276 and had an OBP of .361 in his second year in the bigs?

I was convinced last year when Colby was hitting in front of Bautista that he had found his place in this line-up.  He was getting his hefty diet of FB and was taking care of business (reminded me or Eric Thames in his 1st go around too), but with this new look Blue Jays I really doubt we see him hitting in this same spot.  For Colby to hit lower in the line-up I would like to see him ultimately hitting 8th, with Bonafacio and Lawrie in front of him.  Putting some speed in front of him may be the only way to ensure that he gets more fastballs to hit. 

This upcoming year is very important for Colby.  The Blue Jays have a young and inexpensive CF in waiting in Anthony Gose, and if Colby doesnt find a way to make himself look like a valuable piece to this team he can could find himself on his way out of Toronto.

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