TODAY: Discussions between the two sides are “very preliminary,” according to Jon Heyman (via Twitter). While there is an expectation that the Pads will have talks this week with Desmond’s camp, Heyman says the purpose will be “to see if there’s anything to talk about.”
YESTERDAY: The Padres and free agent shortstop Ian Desmond are having ongoing discussions, according to major league sources who spoke with Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Even though that match would make a lot of sense, no deal appears to be imminent between Desmond and San Diego, Morosi adds.
Morosi notes that Desmond hit 88 home runs over the past four seasons and in that same span the Padres scored the second-fewest runs in the majors. Meanwhile, their 2015 shortstop Alexi Amarista had the worst OPS (.544) of any National League player with at least 300 at-bats last season. Financials and, perhaps, their timeline for contention aside, the Padres sound like the perfect landing spot for Desmond.
Desmond picked up three straight Silver Slugger awards from 2012 through 2014, and owns a .264/.317/.443 since he began his breakout in 2012. While that line was down overall in 2015, his .307 BABIP did fall shy of his career .322 mark and he showed more life at the plate at times later in the season. The 30-year-old’s calling card is his ability to deliver power from a middle infield position, but his reps have also been highlighting his defensive ability when meeting with teams. The Padres would slot Desmond in as their starting shortstop without hesitation, but Desmond appears to be open to playing other positions in an effort to broaden his market.
Desmond declined his qualifying offer from the Nationals back in November, but San Diego’s top pick (8th overall) is protected. The team also stands to add two compensatory picks if and when Justin Upton and Ian Kennedy land elsewhere. At the outset of the offseason, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes predicted that Desmond would land a five-year, $80MM deal.