The Rangers have signed Ian Desmond to a one-year, $8 million deal, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. The deal is still pending a physical.
Although Desmond is a natural shortstop, Saturday it was reported multiple clubs were considering Desmond at other positions. The Rangers are expected to have Desmond start in left field.
While they were able to get a deal done, the Rangers were not viewed as the ideal landing spot for Desmond. They did not appear open to adding to their payroll, which was thought to be in the $145 million range before the Desmond signing.
The Rangers will lose the No. 19 pick, since Desmond received a qualifying offer from the Nationals. They could receive a first round pick in return next off-season if they make Desmond an offer that he rejects to play elsewhere.
Texas will still have a pick in the first round after acquiring the No. 30 overall pick from the Orioles when they signed Yovani Gallardo, who also rejected a qualifying offer.
Desmond, 30, had one of the worst years of his major league career in 2015 with the Nationals, batting .233/.290/.384 to complement 19 home runs and 62 RBIs. Josh Hamilton will be the Rangers' left fielder in 2016, but it appears he will open the season on the disabled list might not be able to contribute regularly this season.
It should be a relatively easy adjustment for Desmond as he shifts to the outfield, but if he struggles, the Rangers could turn to Hamilton or other internal options.
The fact Desmond will be starting in left field in 2016 might not improve his value next winter, when he will likely express interest in an extensive deal as a starting shortstop.