In recent days, Ian Desmond has been a hot topic for debate. Mainly, that Spring Training has started and he is without a job.
In the era of the qualifying offer, Desmond appears to be a prime example of how the system actively screws some players.
As far as Texas is concerned, Elvis Andrus is still under contract, and with Jurickson Profar (hopefully, finally) returning from two years of shoulder issues, there's a hope that he'll be able to stick at SS as well. So, Texas doesn't necessarily need to be spending money on the open market on a SS.
Tonight, things got at least a bit more interesting when Ken Rosenthal dropped this little nugget on Twitter:
My first thought in seeing that tweet was simply that this has to be a play by Desmond's agent to generate interest for his client. After all, with news this week that Josh Hamilton will begin the season on the DL, it's well known throughout baseball that Texas is a bit thin on the left field front -- that is, of course, before considering that Nomar Mazara could force a conversation with a solid camp.
So it makes sense that an agent would use a high profile news item to, in a sense, announce that his client would be willing to play somewhere other than SS. Of course, therein lies the problem. As a SS, Desmond is a solid-but-unspectacular defender. He's put up 3 defensive runs saved over the past two seasons with a 4.0 fWAR in 2014 and a 1.7 fWAR in 2015. So, there's some value there.
Unfortunately, a .736 career OPS -- and a 2015 OPS of .674 -- wouldn't figure to play too well in left field, where offense is more of an important factor than at SS. Furthermore, Desmond is a right-handed hitter. If, with Josh Hamilton out, Texas is looking to platoon in left field, they already have Justin Ruggiano for the right-handed portion of that. It simply doesn't make much sense for them to also put Desmond in that spot when Hamilton is expected to be back by May.
Beyond the logistics of it all, signing Desmond would also cost Texas their first-round draft pick, the 19th pick in the June draft. If you're giving up that type of pick, you'd better be certain you're getting more than a kinda-sorta-platoon player for left field until May.
I certainly understand the desire to potentially have a Ben Zobrist type player on the roster, but Ian Desmond is certainly not Zobrist; not with the bat, at least.
It very well could end up that the Rangers do indeed have some sort of significant interest in Desmond. If so, I'll be surprised. Until then, I can't imagine that we'll see much come from this, at least in relation to the Texas Rangers.