Rejecting a huge, seven year deal from the Washington Nationals a while back wasn’t a smart move by Ian Desmond, but the shortstop who suffered a dip in his career last season still has plenty of demand out there, with the San Diego Padres, Chicago White Sox and Colorado Rockies hoping to land him.
Rumor has it Desmond, 30, rejected a seven-year, $104 million offer from the Nationals following the 2014 season. After hitting just .233 (career .264) and basically bottoming out in pretty much every batting category compared to what he’s done in the three previous years, which includes three Silver Slugger awards and one All-Star appearance, Desmond wasn’t going to get that kind of money again. He made $11 million last season for the Nationals, and might have to settle for less, even though one bad year doesn’t usually ruin things for players with an impressive enough track record.
The Padres are looking for more from their shortstop and are the team closest to making something happen with Desmond. Alexi Amarista, their current starting shortstop, has an OPS of .544. Desmond, who has 88 home runs with a .759 OPS in the last four seasons, would be a significant upgrade to Amarista when it comes to knocking the ball, and he would when it comes to a lot of teams and their shortstops, although there’s nothing special about his defense.
The White Sox and Rockies are hanging back and waiting to see what happens. Tyler Saladino is the top shortstop at the moment for them, and he’s quite raw, which means the White Sox would like to have someone they know more about at the slot. They have money set aside for a hitter, maybe looking at Desmond. They might still bring back Alexei Ramirez, although right now they’re keeping that as their last option scenario.
For the Rockies, it’s a similar situation. They’re interested in Desmond and have the money to sign him. However, a lot of it depends on what happens with Jose Reyes (traded to them last season). The domestic violence investigation could lead to him being suspended. Depending on what the punishment is will determine how they proceed in the Desmond situation, operating in a market that’s been pretty quiet for shortstops so far, with the only notable signing being Asdrubal Cabrera, signing a two-year, $18.5 million deal with the New York Mets.