(Reuters) - The Texas Rangers have agreed to a one-year contract worth $8 million with former All-Star shortstop Ian Desmond, pending a physical, according to multiple reports on Sunday.
Desmond, 30, played the past seven seasons with the Washington Nationals before he decided to test free agency and is a three-time winner of the Silver Slugger award as the top hitting shortstop in the National League.
According to media reports, the Rangers must surrender a first-round draft pick (19th overall) to Washington for signing Desmond with the Nationals having extended him a $15.8 million qualifying offer.
Desmond, an All-Star in 2012, hit .233 with 19 home runs and 62 RBIs for the Nationals last season. He had a .290 on-base percentage and a .384 slugging percentage.
Used almost exclusively as a shortstop in the majors, Desmond has a .264 career average with 110 homers and 432 RBIs in 927 games.
However, he is expected to be employed as an outfielder by the Rangers with left fielder Josh Hamilton likely to start the 2016 season on the disabled list with a sore left knee.
“He brings a certain kind of energy,” Rangers starting pitcher Cole Hamels told mlb.com about Desmond. “He’s got tremendous power.
“It’s nice to have a nice right-handed bat in our lineup to balance out the lefties. He’ll be an outstanding addition, and it’ll be fun to see him when he gets here in a couple of days.”
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Andrew Both