With spring training just around the corner, free agent shortstop Ian Desmond has finally found a new workplace for 2016, reportedly agreeing to terms with the Texas Rangers on a one-year, $8-million contract, per Ken Rosenthal.
Desmond, now 30, picked a bad time to have his worst season in at least four years in 2015, hitting .233/.290/.384 with 19 home runs and 27 doubles in 156 games for the Washington Nationals. But Desmond has proven quite durable, averaging 156 games per season for the last three years, and 151 games per year over the last six seasons.
With 875 starts at shortstop from 2010-15, Desmond ranks fourth in baseball during that span. The one with the most starts at the position over the last six years is Alexei Ramirez, who was the White Sox shortstop for the last seven seasons before signing with the San Diego Padres as a free agent earlier this winter.
Even with the relatively down season in 2015, Desmond has averaged 22 home runs and 31 doubles per season from 2012-15, hitting .264/.317/.443 during that span while averaging between 3.2 (Baseball-Reference) and 3.8 (FanGraphs) Wins Above Replacement per year.
Desmond was ranked as the 16th-best free agent of the offseason back in October by our own Grant Brisbee.
Washington made Desmond a qualifying offer of one year, $15.8 million in November, which he declined. Therefore, the Rangers will sacrifice their first-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, which was slated to fall at No. 19, and the Nationals will receive a compensation pick at the end of the first round.