NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The Rockies are in agreement on a 5-year, $70 million contract with Ian Desmond, as first reported by FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal. The deal includes a sixth-year option that could push its total value to $83 million.
Colorado will give up the No. 11 pick (the highest unprotected pick) in next year’s draft to sign Desmond, a clear sign that the Rox are looking to contend next year in the NL West and could make more significant moves before the end of the Winter Meetings. Desmond will play first base for the team, though could move into the outfield if the Rockies move someone like Charlie Blackmon or Gerardo Parra.
Colorado cast a wide net in its search for first base help, looking into Mark Trumbo and White Sox star Jose Abreu as other options.
The Rockies were not thought of as a strong suitor for Desmond, who drew interest from the Rangers, Nationals, Cardinals and Orioles in his second go-around in free agency. After settling for a 1-year, $8 million deal with Texas a year ago, the 31-year old re-established his value with a strong year and ended up with the longest-term contract of the offseason to this point.
Desmond hit .285/.335/.446 with 22 homers and 86 RBI while serving as Texas’ primary center-fielder last season. He is a veteran of eight major-league years with the Nationals and Rangers, and is regarded for his versatility.