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Impact of Desmond deal on Hamilton, Andrus

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister and general manager Jon Daniels met with both outfielder Josh Hamilton and infielder Elvis Andrus after the club had reached an agreement with free agent Ian Desmond.

The move potentially impacts Hamilton more than Andrus. Desmond was an All-Star shortstop for the Nationals, but the Rangers are bringing him in primarily to play left field. Andrus is still the Rangers' shortstop.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister and general manager Jon Daniels met with both outfielder Josh Hamilton and infielder Elvis Andrus after the club had reached an agreement with free agent Ian Desmond.

The move potentially impacts Hamilton more than Andrus. Desmond was an All-Star shortstop for the Nationals, but the Rangers are bringing him in primarily to play left field. Andrus is still the Rangers' shortstop.

"They said he was going to play left field and don't worry about it," Andrus said. "I was good. I played against him in the Mexican League. He is a good person and a good friend. He'll fit right in and we'll make him feel welcome."

The Rangers announced the deal, which is for one year and $8 million, on Monday.

Justice: Texas' Desmond move is about depth

Hamilton was supposed to be the Rangers' Opening Day left fielder, but he'll begin the season on the disabled list with inflammation in his left knee. The club expects him to miss at least the first month of the season, and Desmond was signed to help make up for the loss.

Daniels and Banister told Hamilton that his focus needs to be on getting his knee right. Hamilton is still on crutches for four more days before he can resume baseball activities.

Video: Hamels, others on Rangers reportedly signing Desmond

"They told me they have roster spots to fill and want to have depth," Hamilton said. "I agree. I made it clear last year when I was going through the knee stuff and not able to play that we have 25 guys who work hard, love each other and support each other. I'm one of them. I want what's best for the team.

"If I'm not there, I expect them to put somebody out there who will give us the best chance of winning."

Hamilton still expects to be back on May 1. But the Rangers want to make sure he gets the equivalent of a full Spring Training to get ready.

"I'm focused on doing this right and getting in a spot where I can come in and help," Hamilton said. "If I am healthy and I'm hitting, I'm going to play. If Desmond is healthy and hitting, he is going to play. The ultimate goal is to help the team win. Whatever that is, I'm for it."

Worth noting

• The Rangers have a seven-inning intrasquad game scheduled for Monday on Field No. 1 behind the clubhouse. Cole Hamels and Nick Martinez are the scheduled starters. Martinez and left-hander Cesar Ramos are both down for two innings. Among the relievers scheduled are Shawn Tolleson, Sam Freeman, Jake Diekman, Keone Kela and Tom Wilhelmsen.

Colby Lewis will pitch the Cactus League opener at 1:05 p.m. MST on Wednesday against the Royals. Derek Holland will pitch Thursday at 1:05 p.m., also against the Royals.

Yu Darvish, recovering from Tommy John surgery, is scheduled to throw off the full mound for the first time on Monday.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Elvis Andrus, Ian Desmond, Josh Hamilton