Orioles express interest in Desmond

Former shortstop, center fielder would likely be corner outfielder for Baltimore

November 8th, 2016

The Orioles are interested in adding versatile free agent as a corner outfielder, a source told MLB.com's Jon Morosi on Tuesday.

Desmond, 31, is coming off an All-Star season in which he hit .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs and 86 RBIs while transitioning to the outfield after spending the majority of his professional career as a shortstop.

Desmond received a qualifying offer from the Rangers, so he would require Draft-pick compensation to sign. Texas had signed him in February after a 2015 qualifying offer and a poor offensive season limited teams' interest last offseason.

Although the Orioles are set on the left side of the infield with third baseman (under club control through 2018) and shortstop ($14 million vesting option/$2 million buyout for '18), Desmond could provide insurance there as well.

Desmond is willing to play multiple defensive positions, according to Morosi, who notes he could fill a Ben Zobrist-type role. Desmond played 130 games in center field and 29 in left last year for the Rangers, and he was a three-time National League Silver Slugger Award-winning shortstop during his seven seasons with the Nationals.