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Colby Rasmus expected to accept Astros' qualifying offer

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Rasmus would be the first player in baseball to accept the offer since it was introduced in 2012.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus is expected to accept a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Houston Astros, Ken Rosenthal writes. Rasmus hit .238/.314/.475 with 25 home runs in 137 games in 2015, while playing all three outfield positions.

The qualifying offer is a big payday for the 29-year-old Rasmus, who signed a one-year, $8 million deal with Houston in January. Had he declined the offer, he would have been a free agent, but any new team that signed him would have been required to forfeit a 2016 draft pick to do so. Since qualifying offers were introduced in 2012, no player before Rasmus had accepted one.

There had been speculation that Rasmus might be a good fit for the Mets as they look for an outfielder to complement Juan Lagares in center. The team has been linked to left-handed-hitting outfielders Denard Span and Gerardo Parra and switch-hitting Dexter Fowler in recent rumors.