The Baltimore Orioles have interest in signing free agent Ian Desmond this offseason to fill one of their corner outfield positions, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. Desmond made the switch to the outfield this season with the Texas Rangers, largely playing center field.
Desmond, 31, spent his entire career with the Washington Nationals playing shortstop, before signing with the Texas Rangers. The Montreal Expos took him in the 3rd round of the 2004 MLB Draft and he made his debut for the Nationals in 2009. Desmond spent 7 seasons in Washington, hitting .264 with three Silver Slugger awards and an All-Star game appearance.
Desmond left for Texas the following year and experience a resurgence, hitting .285 in 156 games, along with 22 home runs and 86 runs batted in. Desmond also patrolled center field, where he had a bounce back year defensively as well, with a .966 fielding percentage, his highest since 2013. This combined effort earned him his second All-Star game appearance.
The Orioles have been looking for corner outfield help for a long time, and the addition of Desmond to the batting order would be a large boost. Hyun Soo Kim and Joey Rickard are the current incumbents in left and right field and Desmond would an upgrade offensively over both of them.
While the team would like to keep Mark Trumbo, Desmond could prove to be more cost effective. After taking a one year deal last offseason, Desmond will command more money, but it remains to be seen if his improvement was an outlier, or if Desmond has taken dramatic strides.