Ian Desmond spent 2016 with a new team in a new league playing a completely new position, and it paid off for him, as he’s reportedly agreeing to terms with the Rockies, per Ken Rosenthal. Desmond signed for five years and $70 million to play first base and the outfield for Colorado.
Desmond, who started 889 games at shortstop for the Washington Nationals from 2010-2015, signed a one-year, $8 million free-agent contract last year with the Texas Rangers and played exclusively in the outfield, starting 128 games in center field and 27 more in left.
Now 31 years old, Desmond hit .285/.335/.446, a 104 OPS+ with 22 home runs, 29 doubles, and 21 stolen bases in 156 games for the Rangers in 2016. In the last five years, Desmond is a .269/.321/.443 hitter, a 105 OPS+, averaging 31 doubles, 22 home runs, and 20 steals.
Our own Grant Brisbee in November ranked Desmond as the ninth-best player on the free-agent market this winter.
Desmond declined a qualifying offer of one year and $17.2 million from the Rangers in November, so the Rockies will have to forfeit their 2017 first-round draft pick for signing him. Texas will receive a supplemental pick in between the first and second rounds.