Who is Colby Rasmus and why did the Orioles sign him?

The Orioles reached an agreement Wednesday with free-agent outfielder Colby Rasmus on a minor league deal. He will compete for the right field job with a leg up on the competition for one big reason: He bats left-handed.

That would make him the only left-handed batter the Orioles have besides Chris Davis and another journeyman outfielder the team signed Monday, Alex Presley, formerly of the Detroit Tigers.


But Rasmus has been on the Orioles’ radar for several years and they were able to get him on a minor league deal because he walked away from the Tampa Bay Rays and baseball at midseason last year.

Here’s a closer look at Rasmus:


Age: 31 (Born Aug. 11, 1986, in Columbus, Ga.)

Height, weight: 6 feet 2, 195 pounds

Throws/bats: Left/Left

Family: Wife, Megan, and two daughters, Rylee and Teegan. Brothers Cory and Casey also played professional baseball. Casey, a catcher, is retired, while Cory, a pitcher, is a free agent.

Teams: St. Louis Cardinals (2009-11); Toronto Blue Jays (2011-14); Houston Astros (2015-16); Tampa Bay Rays (2017)

Best season: In 2010, he hit .276 with 23 home runs, 28 doubles and 66 RBIs. He also stole 12 bases that season. Has hit more home runs (25) once, in 2015 with the Astros, but hit just .238 that season. He drove in 75 runs in 2012 with the Blue Jays, but hit just .223.

By the numbers: Nine seasons, 1,074 games played, 3,659 at-bats, 885 hits, 182 doubles, 165 homers and 490 RBIs.

Did you know?: Rasmus played just 37 games with the Rays last year after having hip surgery, and decided at midseason to step away from the game after dealing with the hip and other injuries. … He played in the Little League World Series in 1999 for Phenix City, Ala. Won the U.S. title before losing to Japan in the championship game. … In nine playoff games in his career, he has hit .423 with four homers and seven RBIs. … He was the first major league player to accept a qualifying offer under the former draft-pick-compensation system in free agency, signing a one-year deal with the Astros in 2015 for $15.8 million. That nearly doubled his salary ($8 million) after he hit .238 with 25 homers, 61 RBIs and 154 strikeouts in 2015.