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Rangers sign free agent INF/OF Ian Desmond to one-year contract

Desmond is expected to join Rangers spring training camp this morning

The Texas Rangers today announced that the club has signed free agent infielder/outfielder Ian Desmond (#20) to a one-year contract for the 2016 season. To make room for Desmond on the 40-man roster, the Rangers have placed right-handed pitcher Tanner Scheppers on the 60-day disabled list, retroactive to February 18, with torn articular cartilage in his left knee.

Desmond, 30, has spent his entire career with the Washington Nationals franchise, compiling a career .264 average and .736 OPS figure over 927 games since making his big league debut in 2009. The right-handed batter is one of only 7 major league players with at least 19 home runs and 25 doubles in each of the last four seasons. He has recorded 20-or-more stolen bases in four different seasons.

The Texas Rangers today announced that the club has signed free agent infielder/outfielder Ian Desmond (#20) to a one-year contract for the 2016 season. To make room for Desmond on the 40-man roster, the Rangers have placed right-handed pitcher Tanner Scheppers on the 60-day disabled list, retroactive to February 18, with torn articular cartilage in his left knee.

Desmond, 30, has spent his entire career with the Washington Nationals franchise, compiling a career .264 average and .736 OPS figure over 927 games since making his big league debut in 2009. The right-handed batter is one of only 7 major league players with at least 19 home runs and 25 doubles in each of the last four seasons. He has recorded 20-or-more stolen bases in four different seasons.

A three-time Silver Slugger Award winner and an All-Star in 2012, Desmond batted .233 with 19 home runs and 62 RBI over 156 games last season. Following the All-Star break last year, he hit .262 (68-260) with 12 homers and 38 RBI in his final 72 contests. Primarily a shortstop throughout his big league career, Desmond is expected to play both as an infielder and outfielder with Texas.

Desmond has played 906 games over the past six campaigns (2010-15), ranking 11th in MLB. He also ranks among National League leaders in that span in hits (8th, 894), doubles (T9th, 178), and extra-base hits (12th, 303). Desmond is one of only six big league players with at least 100 home runs and stolen bases since the start of 2010, joining Ryan Braun, Ian Kinsler, Andrew McCutchen, Hanley Ramirez, and Mike Trout. His 88 home runs since the start of 2012 are 12th-most in the N.L. 

Scheppers had surgery on February 24 to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee performed by Rangers Team Physician Dr. Keith Meister. He is expected to miss at least the first half of the season.

With today's moves, the Rangers still have a full 40-man roster as well as one player on the 60-day disabled list.

NUMBER CHANGES: With the addition of Desmond, who is wearing uniform number 20, non-roster invitee Ike Davis is now wearing number 39. Interim third base coach Spike Owen is number 44.

Texas Rangers