Shortstop is a premium position in Major League Baseball. Great teams are strong up the middle, or so the wisdom goes, and if you can add pop from that position then it is all the better.
Ian Desmond is apparently quite confident in just how valuable he is at that position, as Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals reportedly offered him an extension in the neighborhood of $85-$90 million that he turned down.
If that’s the case, that is his right to do, though it puts an awful lot of pressure on him to perform at a high level on the two-year, $17.5 million deal that he did sign. For his part, Desmond insists that he is not worried about a big extension at the moment (quotes from MLB.com):
I haven’t really talked about contracts…I’ll tell you that the Nationals and I had been in conversation prior to the two-year deal, but things didn’t work out. I don’t know how this got out. It’s not something that came from my side. We don’t operate like that.
“My job is to come here, stay focused, keep the focus in this locker room and try to win. I feel better than I did last year. I feel like I can really help this team this season. I’ve grown in a lot of different areas. I feel real strongly about my future with the Nationals. I would like to play here for the rest of my career.”
It’s not a stretch to say that he got a bit snippy there, but Desmond likely knows that turning down that kind of money won’t be a good color on him if his play declines. Even still, his level of play is such that he should be fine and in line for a payday soon enough.