Orioles express interest in Desmond

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

Orioles express interest in Desmond

The Orioles are interested in adding versatile free agent Ian Desmond 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 Manny Machado (under club control through 2018) and shortstop J.J. Hardy ($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.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.