The Washington Nationals aren’t bringing back Ian Desmond who seems to be making all kind of wrong decisions in terms of contracts these last two or three years. A free agent, it’s not going to stay that way for long, with the Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Oakland A’s and Atlanta Braves interested in picking him up.
Desmond didn’t sign a big extension offered to him by the Nationals In 2014 and rejected the qualifying offer from the Washington Nationals this offseason. But he had an OK 2014 (.255 batting with 24 home runs) and a disappointing 2015, not what you want out of a contract year. He finished with 19 home runs while batting just .233 with a .674 OPS, while doing poorly on defense, making it so no one wants to sign him on as a shortstop anymore.
And the key to the 30-year old ending his stay among the unsigned players is whether or not he’s willing to switch positions. It seems that after making $11 million last season and thinking he’s going to do well enough in order to make around $20 million a season on his next deal (probably dreamed about the contract Justin Upton signed with the Tigers), he’s in a completely different position now.
Desmond is still someone with 88 home runs since the 2012 season and winner of three Silver Slugger awards from 2012 to 2014. Hitters do have bad years they bounce back from, but considering the corner he’s put himself in, it might take a one-year deal while hoping he brings up his market value again, or a three-four year deal with an opt out after a year or two for a lot less money than he thought he’d be making.
There’s also the draft pick teams would have to give up for him and for someone coming off a tough season, it’s difficult making that rationalization. Desmond is still a good player, just not as much as he thought he’d be considered at the beginning of 2016. All the teams looking to sign him aren’t going to pay him more than he made last season with the Nationals, short term or long term deal.