Ian Desmond is still out there in free agency with with just weeks to go before spring training, but a new report has the Tampa Bay Rays showing interest.
Chris Cotillo of SB Nation says the Rays like what Desmond brings to the table, but may be scared off by the prospect of forfeiting a draft pick to acquire him. Desmond turned down the $15.8 million qualifying offer extended by the Nats following the World Series.
Desmond, 30, won three Silver Sluggers from 2012-14 but is coming off a down year where he hit just .233/.290/.384. He still hit 19 homers and drove in 62 runs, but his .674 OPS and 80 OPS+ were not pretty. He also struggled in the field with 27 errors at shortstop.
The Rays are thin at shortstop, which bodes well for Desmond. Right now RosterResource.com projects 26-year-old Brad Miller as their starting shortstop and he wasn't much better than Desmond in 2015. Desmond's career numbers would suggest he presents better upside.
Desmond also drew interest from the San Diego Padres before they opted to sign Alexei Ramirez. Perhaps the Rays could be a fit.