Washington Nationals shortstop, Ian Desmond, took the major league by storm in 2012 when he clubbed 25 HR which was the best among shortstops. After that season, Ian recorded three straight 20-20 seasons and was one of the top shortstops in the game. In 2013, the Nationals signed Desmond to a two year 17.5 million dollar deal but they wanted to lock up the All-Star a little longer. The Nationals offered Desmond a seven year $107 million dollar contract extension and he turned it down.
Just like the entire Washington Nationals team, the year didn’t go the way Ian expected it to be. With the season getting close to the end, Desmond has a .239 batting average with 17 home runs, 51 runs batted in and 12 stolen bases. The first half of the season was a complete mess for Ian. Before the All-Star break, he was hitting .211 and making costly mistakes on defense.
The way things are playing for Desmond, his rejection to the Nationals contract offer may had been a mistake. You can see why he made the decision to become a free agent in 2016. During the time Washington offered him the contract deal, he was one of the hottest players in the game. He thought he could receive more money than what the Nationals was offering and he probably would have if he continued to play like he did in the past few seasons. Now it looks like Desmond will get less money than he thought unless there is a team that is crazy enough to give him a multi-year contract that is worth over $100 million dollars.
Mike Rizzo should be jumping for joy that Desmond didn’t accept the long term deal. One reason is that they can use the money they were offering Desmond and bring in some good players during the offseason. The Nationals will most likely try to improve on their struggling bullpen and don’t be surprise if they try to land a big name this upcoming offseason. A player that comes to mind and it might sound far fetched is left-handed pitcher David Price. Most didn’t think the Nationals was going to sign Max Scherzer and look what happen.
With Ian not signing, the Nationals will be able to see if some of their top prospects are ready for the big show. There has been talks of Trea Turner being in the starting lineup next season and he has the potential to do so.
Desmond struggles this year won’t get the big contract he is looking for but the way he has played in the second half of the season, he might get some good money. Ian has a .289 batting average with 10 home runs and 27 runs batted in since the All-Star break. His tendency to strike out still makes him a gamble. The New York Yankees seem like a reasonable destination for Desmond since they are in need of a shortstop.
The Nationals and Ian Desmond are likely to part ways in the offseason and for the Nats, this is a good thing. As for Desmond, he shouldn’t expect to cash in a big check like he thought he was going to.
Ryan is the Founder of Inside The Locker Room and a freshman at Iona College. Follow him on Twitter @RMcFadden15.
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