The latest on the Nats:
- Among the issues the Reds needed to resolve with Brandon Phillips was the question of money deferred in the six-year, $72.5MM contract extension he signed in 2012, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post writes. The Nats appeared to be on the cusp of trading for the second baseman earlier this week until Phillips declined to waive his no-trade clause.
- Now that the Phillips deal appears to be dead – or at least on hold – the Nationals could consider Jurickson Profar of the Rangers as a trade possibility, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com. However, Profar’s health situation probably means that a deal wouldn’t take place until March. GM Jon Daniels told reporters back in November that he was getting trade interest on the oft-injured Profar, though he added that teams were looking to buy low on him. Profar, who missed the entire 2014 season after twice tearing a muscle in his shoulder, underwent right shoulder surgery in February. Profar ranked as the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball heading into the 2013 season, receiving that distinction from Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, MLB.com and ESPN’s Keith Law. He made his debut as a 20-year-old that season and homered in his first big league plate appearance, though he went on to struggle, relatively speaking, to a .234/.308/.366 batting line in 324 plate appearances that season.
- On Saturday night, ex-GM Dan O’Dowd (writing for MLB.com) ran down five players who he feels won’t be signing anytime soon. At the top of the list is Nationals free agent shortstop Ian Desmond. O’Dowd feels that Desmond will be driven to get an offer as good as the seven-year, $107MM extension he reportedly turned down from the Nats last offseason and that could lead to a prolonged stint in free agency. Perhaps the game’s best shortstop from 2012-14, Desmond only produced a .233/.290/.384 batting line in 2015. At the outset of the offseason, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes predicted that Desmond would net a five-year, $80MM deal on the open market. Of course, he comes with a qualifying offer attached.