The only issue with Desmond is that he is attached to the qualifying offer. According to Cotillo, the Rays consider the QO to be a "huge obstacle" in getting a deal done. The Rays would have to give up their first round draft pick (No. 13) if they signed him.
One source told Cotillo that a deal between the Rays and Desmond is "unlikely" at this time.
Desmond is not an exact fit for the Rays. The team acquired Brad Miller earlier in the offseason to play shortstop, and the rest of the infield is set with James Loney at first, Logan Forsythe at second, and Evan Longoria at third.
A fit could be made if Desmond was willing to become a utility player, similar to how Ben Zobrist was during his time in Tampa.
Desmond would play plenty of games, but not all at shortstop. This could work because it has been bounced around this offseason that Desmond may consider playing a different position to get a deal done anyway.
On a short-term deal, Ian Desmond may make sense for the Tampa Bay Rays, a team not known for signing big free agents. It is an interesting fit, but it could work.
Last season, Desmond had a down year. He hit .233/.290/.384 with 19 home runs and 62 RBIs in 641 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, the 30-year-old was worth 1.7 Wins Above Replacement.