The Rangers signed Ian Desmond as an afterthought. It was Feb. 29, just before the start of spring training, and the former Nationals shortstop hadn't yet found anyone to give him a chance to resuscitate his career — on life support after a career worst season in 2015. The Rangers thought Desmond might be able to provide league-average production in left field, and Desmond placed a bet on himself by signing a one-year contract for just $8 million. After a slow start to the season, Desmond has been an MVP candidate, taking over center field from a flailing, demoted Delino Deshields and playing one of baseball's most important defensive positions while learning on the fly. He's hit, too, mashing his way to being among the Rangers' team leaders in home runs and slugging percentage.