The Texas Rangers have agreed to sign shortstop Ian Desmond, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported Sunday.
Desmond's deal is a one-year, $8 million pact, and it is pending a physical.
Despite playing shortstop his entire Major League career, Desmond will become the Rangers' primary left fielder. Many around the game had noted that Desmond would likely have to change positions in order to find a new home.
The need for a left fielder arose when Josh Hamilton reported to Spring Training with a sore knee. He was reportedly seen on crutches just days ago, and he will begin the season on the disabled list.
Desmond has practically zero professional experience in the outfield.
He has a combined 15 innings of work there over the course of his Major and Minor League career. His last time playing in the outfield came in 2010, appearing in right field for a single out.
Position aside, it has been quite a downfall for Desmond over the last few years.
The Washington Post reported that the Washington Nationals offered Desmond was a seven-year, $107 million contract extension during the 2013-2014 offseason. He turned it down, setting for a two-year, $17.5 million pact to buyout his final two arbitration seasons.
Desmond was then offered a qualifying offer at the beginning of this offseason, which would have been a one-year, $15.8 million signing to stay with Washington. That was turned down as well.
He was then tied to draft pick compensation, limiting his value and lengthening his stay in free agency to trickle into the New Year. Now, at the end of February, Desmond was forced to take a 27 percent pay cut from his 2015 salary of $11 million.
Poor performance also played a role in Desmond's inability to find a new club.
The 30-year-old hit .233/.290/.384 with 19 home runs and 62 RBIs in 641 plate appearances in 2015. His 80 OPS+ was the lowest since 2011. FanGraphs pegged him at just 1.7 Wins Above Replacement, also the lowest since that season.
Desmond now heads to Texas for a season, where he hopes to rebuild value playing outside his normal position.
He'll hit the market again next fall, but again will be eligible for a qualifying offer, if his play warrants one. But with a rebound season, Desmond may be able to recoup some of the money he lost during his time with the Nationals.
Considering his age and ability to stay healthy, it's definitely possible he could rebound, and this may all work out for him.