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Colby Rasmus has left the Orioles, will “discontinue his career”

The Orioles outfielder told manager Buck Showalter today that he was going to go home and wouldn’t be playing baseball any more, so now he’s on the restricted list.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

One of the hallmarks of the 2018 Orioles season is that it’s not just really bad, it’s also really weird. Things took another unusual turn on Tuesday evening when the O’s abruptly placed outfielder Colby Rasmus on the restricted list, with Rasmus apparently having told manager Buck Showalter that he was going to go home and discontinue his career.

A player just voluntarily up and leaving an MLB team is almost unheard of. It would be entirely unheard of were it not for the fact that Rasmus did a similar thing to the Rays last season, walking away in the middle of the year. The Orioles knew this about Rasmus and signed him anyway, and now he has done it to them, too. It would be fair to question whoever in the Orioles front office decided this whole experiment was a good idea.

Rasmus being placed on the restricted list means he is off of both the 25-man and 40-man rosters immediately. I believe it also means that Rasmus will not be paid the roughly half that remains of his $3 million salary.

Showalter also indicated that the timing of Rasmus’s decision to leave means that the Orioles will be playing with just 24 men on the roster for Tuesday’s game against the Phillies. Joey Rickard is on the way from Norfolk to join the team, Tides beat writer David Hall reported on Tuesday. However, it seems Rickard can’t make it in time for the game.

Rasmus ended up playing in just 18 games for the Orioles, batting only .133/.204/.222 in that time. He missed a good bit of time due to an injury, never looked great in his minor league rehab assignment, and was nonetheless activated by the Orioles. That was less than two weeks ago. Now, he has left suddenly.

Good luck to Rasmus in the next chapter of his life. His O’s tenure was not a success for anyone. I’m sure that was a frustrating thing for him to experience. At least now everyone involved can move on.