USA TODAY US Edition

RANGERS SIGN DESMOND TO ONE-YEAR CONTRACT

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Ian Desmond’s free agent saga came to a close Sunday when the All- Star shortstop agreed to a one-year, $8 million contract with the Texas Rangers. A person with direct knowledge of the negotiatio­ns confirmed the agreement to USA TODAY Sports, speaking on condition of anonymity because the contract had not been finalized. Desmond, 30, was among a group of major leaguers who turned down qualifying offers from their previous clubs — offers that would have guaranteed them a one-year, $15.8 million contract for 2016 — only to see the market collapse on them. Desmond was a three-time Silver Slugger winner with the Washington Nationals and had three seasons with at least 20 home runs. But he slumped badly with the Nationals in the final year before free agency, needing a late surge to finish with a careerlow .233 batting average and a .674 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, and he committed 27 errors. Now, he likely won’t play shortstop during a season in which he’d hoped to restore his value. With Elvis Andrus entrenched at short and Rougned Odor at second base, Desmond likely will play left field for the Rangers in the wake of Josh Hamilton’s knee injury.

 ?? BRAD MILLS, USA TODAY SPORTS ?? Shortstop Ian Desmond likely will play left field for the Rangers.
BRAD MILLS, USA TODAY SPORTS Shortstop Ian Desmond likely will play left field for the Rangers.

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