Rays have some interest in free agent shortstop Ian Desmond

Greg Fiume/Getty Images North America

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times suggested earlier this month that the Rays might be open to a marriage with free agent shortstop Ian Desmond if he is willing to accept a one-year contract, and now SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo says there is legitimate interest on the part of the Tampa Bay front office.

But the Rays are reluctant to give up a draft pick for Desmond, who rejected a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Nationals in November, and Cotillo’s source calls that a “huge obstacle in getting a deal done.”

Desmond, 30, has struggled to attract a healthy market this offseason after batting .233/.290/.384 with 19 home runs and 13 stolen bases in 156 games last year for Washington. He averaged a .275/.326/.462 batting line, 23 homers, and 22 stolen bases per season between 2012-2014.