The Baltimore Orioles can cross another free agent corner outfielder off their list. The Houston Astros have signed Colby Rasmus to a one-year, $8 million deal.

You may remember that O’s skipper/fearless leader Buck Showalter flew down to meet with Rasmus in early January to get a better feel for the 28 year old outfielder. And no, this wasn’t a recruitment trip, as Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun pointed out:

[quote_box_center]It seems like the slacker label that he has carried the last few years is somewhat unfair. It’s apparently not a lack of work ethic that has hampered Rasmus’ ascent; his deficiencies sound like they are more mental than anything.[/quote_box_center]

Perhaps Buck didn’t get a good feeling about Rasmus after that meeting. If he did, you would assume that the Orioles could have at least matched Houston’s $8 million offer, which is $4 million less than Jeff Todd’s projected contract on MLB Trade Rumors. It’s hard to imagine he’d choose playing in Houston over Baltimore. Was the Orioles offer too low? Or were they just not interested?

Speaking of not being interested, my favorite Nick Markakis comp, Nori Aoki, also came off the market after he signed a one-year, $4.7 million deal with an option for 2016 with the San Francisco Giants. Aoki has over 1,500 plate appearances of leadoff experience and boasts a career .353 on base percentage, but is viewed as a below average defender.’s Roch Kubatko wrote back in early December that the Birds had “limited” interest in him this offseason.

Very limited, I suppose.

Is there anyone left to replace Markakis in right?

I wrote last week about the O’s rumored interest in Diamondbacks outfielders David Peralta and Ender Inciarte, but I would imagine the asking price will be too much for the Birds for these promising young bats.

We’ve also heard Charlie Blackmon‘s name mentioned in recent some trade rumors. Personally, his Coors Field splits terrify me. Blackmon hit .305 with 14 of his 19 homers in Colorado last season and .264 on the road.

Now apparently Nate Schierholtz, who slashed .195/.243/.309 with seven homers and 37 RBI in 122 games with the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals, is also being discussed as a possibility. As is 41 year old Ichiro Suzuki.

I’m curious why we haven’t heard anything about Jonny Gomes. Everywhere he goes his teammates seem to rave about playing along side him and he’s a solid platoon bat who has slashed .277/.376/.485 against lefties.