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Royals interested in outfielder Colby Rasmus

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The 28-year old could be a bargain in an inflated market.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals are looking for a right-fielder to replace departing free agent Nori Aoki and with Torii Hunter off the market, they are looking at a number of options. Sam Mellinger wrote about some right-field options the Royals might consider.

Colby Rasmus is an interesting possibility the Royals have quietly considered.

Mellinger also mentions Melky Cabrera, Nick Markakis, and Alex Rios as possibilities, but Rasmus is a new name to the list of targets for the Royals. The 28-year old Colby Rasmus is a left-handed hitter, while the Royals are assumed to prefer a right-handed hitting bat. Rasmus is a career .213/.287/.361 hitter against southpaws, while hitting .257/.323/.465 against right-handed pitchers. Overall, Rasmus has had an inconsistent track record in his six-year Major League career. He has hit .246/.313/.438 overall, but hit just .225/.287/.448 with 18 HR last season.

Rasmus enjoyed his best season in 2010 with St. Louis. He hit .276/.361/.498 with 23 HR, but Rasmus clashed with manager Tony LaRussa and reportedly asked for a trade, causing teammate Albert Pujols to rip the young outfielder in the press.

If you don’t want to be part of this great organization, man, this is one of the special organizations that you want to play for. And if you don’t want to be a part of this, then you know what? You need to figure out a place to go and play.

The Cardinals got so fed up with his attitude they dumped him the next summer to Toronto in a three-team trade for Edwin Jackson. The trade led Rasmus' father to rip Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa.

Rasmus had an uneventful term in Toronto, excelling in 2013 with a .276/.338/.501 line with 23 HR and an excellent year defensively in centerfield. However he slumped badly both at the plate and in the field in 2014, and was benched in August in favor of Anthony Gose. Steamer projects Rasmus to hit .233/.300/.417 in 2015.

Mellinger speculates that Rasmus could be willing to take a one or two-year deal to re-establish his value. Jon Heyman thinks Rasmus could command a two-year $20 million contract.