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Rockies sign free agent first baseman Ian Desmond

Rockies sign free agent first baseman Ian Desmond
Posted at 9:47 AM, Dec 07, 2016

DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies found their first baseman on Wednesday signing free-agent Ian Desmond, major league sources confirmed.

Desmond is a a shortstop by trade but played in the outfield last year for the Texas Rangers. He hit .285 with 22 home runs, 86 RBIs with a .335 on base percentage. 

Multiple reports pegged Desmond's deal at $70 million over five years. Sources told Denver7 Desmond will be used primarily at first base.

"I have good things," All Star third baseman Nolan Arenado told Denver7. 

The Rockies cast a wide net in their search for a first baseman with Matt Holliday (Yankees), Todd Frazier, Edward Encarnacion and Mitch Moreland among the targets. 

While there is risk moving a 31-year-old to a new position, Desmond profiles well for Coors Field and possesses athleticism to believe a successful transition is possible. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Desmond has the size for first base and boasts power. He has averaged 22 home runs and 56 extra-base hits over the past five seasons. Desmond owns a career .406 on base percentage in 23 games in Denver. 

Desmond bet on himself last winter after turning down a huge offer from the Washington Nationals before hitting free agency. He parlayed a strong season into a soft landing spot with the Rockies. 

"He's definitely a better athlete than first base so he could for sure play the position," second baseman D.J LeMahieu said. "He's a stud. I love how he plays the game."

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