Rangers Sign SS Ian Desmond.. To Play LF
Early Sunday Morning, while some of us were still trying to sleep, news broke that the Rangers had signed former all-star shortstop Ian Desmond to a one year deal worth $8 million.
This shores up the left field position that the Rangers were desperately trying to address with the news of Josh Hamilton and his forever busted up knee.
Or does it?
Desmond has played a career grand total of 7.1 innings in right field and posted a -100.7 UZR/150. Now that’s obviously a very short sample size and can’t be used to evaluate his defensive ability out there but he has never played left field.
In addition to his defense being of concern, he has a two year trend of declining offensive production. Since his career year in 2012 in which he posted a slash line of .292/.335/.511/.845, his numbers have declined across the board – every season.
His line drive rate is at a career low, his fly ball rate is at nearly a career low, his ground ball rate is at a career high, his IFFB rate (infield fly ball) is at a career high, his K rate was near 30% and his wRC+ was only 85.
Not to mention his OPS was only .674. The Rangers left fielder party last year combined for a .688 OPS.
What does this mean for Nomar Mazara? Well it probably means he spends most of if not all of the year in AAA. Barring an injury, there really is no room for him now.
Maybe Desmond plays incredible and has a huge year. Maybe Desmond sucks and we all hate him. But, it is what it is and he’s a Ranger now and I will be rooting for him.