We can cross another item off of the Blue Jays offseason to-do list. On Monday, Toronto and center fielder Colby Rasmus avoided arbitration and agreed on a one-year deal worth $4.67 millon.
The Rasmus signing leaves the Blue Jays with three more arbitration eligible players in Emilio Bonifacio, J.A. Happ, and Josh Thole, with Friday being the deadline for the club and players to exchange salary figures for 2013.
Rasmus earned $2.7 million in 2012, a season in which he hit .223 with a .689 OPS, 23 home runs, and 75 RBI while playing in 151 games for Toronto. The 26-year-old looked to be turning things around when the he hit .291 with 8 home runs, 25 RBI, and a .878 OPS in June, but he struggled down the stretch, hitting just .186 over the final three months of the season. In fact, after reviewing his splits for the season, June was the only month he was truly productive.
With the Blue Jays shifting things into high gear this winter, 2013 needs to be a big year for Rasmus. Since coming to Toronto in 2011, the center fielder has failed to live up to his potential and has been worth just 0.3 bWAR during his year and a half with the Blue Jays. With Anthony Gose heading back to Triple-A in order to position himself as Toronto’s center fielder of the future, Rasmus will have to turn things around right out of the gate next season or risk losing his job in 2014.