Ian Desmond has reportedly found a home. After what was an interminable wait for fans of the infielder (and likely for the infielder himself), the now-former Washington Nationals' shortstop, who turned down a lucrative extension and opted for free agency this winter following a disappointing 2015 campaign, is set to become a Texas Ranger according to a report this morning by FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.
Rumors this week said the Rangers were exploring Desmond as a possible option in left field after he had expressed a willingness to play other positions as the potential destinations dwindled.
Josh Hamilton, who is injured, was slated to play left for the Rangers, but is not going to be available at the start of the 2016 campaign, though he could return by May according to reports.
Desmond, 30, has played a total of two games in the outfield in his seven major league seasons, but with the options for starting jobs at short limited, his camp told reporters earlier this winter that he was willing to consider playing other positions.
The '04 Montreal Expos' 3rd Round pick, who spent his entire career before now with the Expos/Nationals franchise reportedly turned down a 7-year/$107M extension with Washington when the two sides discussed a deal in 2013.
Desmond signed a 2-year/17.5M extension in 2014, but after putting up a .280/.331/.453 line, 38 doubles and 20 home runs in 158 games and 600 plate appearances in a 4.7 fWAR season 2013, his numbers fell off in each of the next two seasons, with the shortstop putting up a .255/.313/.430 line, 26 doubles and 24 home runs in 154 games and 593 PAs in a 4.8 fWAR season 2014 and a .233/.290/.384 line, 27 doubles and 19 home runs in 156 games and 641 PAs in a 1.7 fWAR 2016 season, though he did bounce back some in the second half last season.
The Nationals made a 1-year/$15.8M qualifying offer to the infielder/outfielder this winter, and he was the last player who received a qualifying offer available before his deal with the Rangers was announced today.
Washington will receive a compensatory draft pick (no.29 according to Baseball America) in return for losing the free agent in addition to the pick they received after making a qualifying offer to Jordan Zimmermann, who signed a free agent deal with the Detroit Tigers in November.
Desmond's deal with the Rangers is reportedly a one-year deal. No word on the dollar value yet...
Agreement between #Rangers and Desmond will be pending a physical. Deal in place.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 28, 2016
Source: Desmond deal with #Rangers is for one year.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 28, 2016
UPDATE: Desmond's deal with the Rangers is reportedly a 1-year/$8M deal:
Source: Desmond deal with #Rangers is one year, $8M.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 28, 2016