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Sounds like Ian Desmond is in line for a contract extension

Apr 2, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

Ian Desmond Getty Images

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was quoted by Amanda Comak in the Washington Times and, from the sounds of it, Ian Desmond is in line for a contract extension:

“We don’t discuss negotiations with players and that type of thing,” Rizzo said. “But we feel Ian is one of our leaders. He’s one of the guys that is our core players and he’s a guy we’d like to be with the Nationals for a long time.”

Desmond is under team control through 2015, but the Nats certainly have a nice core in place and Desmond is part of it, so if they can save a few bucks over the long haul by locking him up through arbitration and maybe a bit more now, it’d be a good move.

Probably complicated a lot by Elvis Andrus‘ new extension.

  1. js20011041 - Apr 2, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    If they sign him now, I think it’s a mistake. They’d be buying high, and they don’t have to. He’s still under team control for the next three seasons. To date he’s had precisely one good year. Let him play out the next year or two to prove that 2012 wasn’t a fluke. It may cost the Nationals a little bit more money in the end, but it will mitigate some of the risk.

    • lphboston - Apr 2, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Love Desmond as a player and the kid has worked at his game to become better. But living in Boston has taught me that players playing FOR a big contract tend to produce better number than players playing WITH a big contract. JS is right. Hold off for a bit or Nats might get bitten in thre butt.

  2. ghstmnnfrst - Apr 2, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    So with all of these extensions happening the way they are, I’m starting to think GMs are focusing on inflation-proofing their ML rosters vis-a-vis television economics.

  3. dondada10 - Apr 2, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Don’t the Nats have a very good infield prospect in the minors? I remember some fans wanted him to break camp.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 2, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      Anthony Rendon is not a shortstop. He’s a third baseman, and the Nats already have a good one.

      It’s possible that some day, Danny Espinosa could move to short and Rendon play second. My suspicion is that more likely, Espinosa would be traded and Rendon moved to second. But that’s very unlikely this season.

      This isn’t the first report about negotiating an extension with Desmond. He represents one of several decisions Rizzo has to make about the Nats’ core players, as more of them start getting the big bucks. Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detwiler and Drew Storen and are in similar situations; Stephen Strasburg and Espinosa are behind them. Within a couple of seasons, the Nats may reach the upper tier of MLB payrolls, if they keep the core in place.

  4. lphboston - Apr 2, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    In a few years LaRoche’s money will be off the books and Ryan Zimmerman moves to first. Rendon then settles in at third for hopefully the next decade.

    Jayson Werth’s deal will be just about done when money is needed for Strasburg.

    And don’t forget that they’ll be able to bank a lot of cash over the next few years as attendance goes through the roof.

    I don’t they’re in as bad a financial situation as you might think, NATSOWNGREG, but I see your point.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 2, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      Hey, my name is up in lights! :)

      I was focusing on how the payroll is going to skyrocket over the next 2-3 years. On the question you raise — can the Lerners afford it? — I agree. They will be in even better shape once the TV money issue is resolved.

      The Lerners have shown that they are willing to spend cash on talent. Especially now that the Promised Land is in sight, and Ted Lerner (who, as a kid, rooted for the 1933 AL Champion Senators) declared a World Series win as the team’s goal.

  5. bellweather22 - Apr 2, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    That’s pretty cool to be inline for an extension when Desmond played one game last year and isn’t eligible for Free Agency until 2016. Washington will always find a way to screw things up. Last year it was shutting down Strasburg for the playoffs. Next it will be signing marginal players to long term deals they haven’t earned. I’m sure there will be more hilarity to follow.

    • bellweather22 - Apr 2, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      Oh, and two years ago it was the Jason Werth contract.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 2, 2013 at 4:26 PM

      It’s not screwing up. That’s the way MLB teams operate these days. You identify a good player you want to keep for several more seasons. You extend his contract to buy out his arbitration years, and his first year or two of free agency. Same thing they did with Ryan Zimmerman and Gio Gonzalez.

      The trick is to make sure you extend the right guys. Ian Desmond is definitely not “marginal.” Is he a player who should be extended? IMHO, he is. Others may disagree.

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