Desmond is not hitting for average this season, but he leads the team in both RBIs with 54 and home runs with 16. He is a career .270 hitter and has an All-Star appearance from 2012. The reason for the trade rumors is that the Nationals did not lock him up with a contract extension this past offseason.
The shortstop was reportedly offered a contract upwards of $90 million for seven years.
Desmond has two remaining seasons on his current contract and has expressed interest in staying with the franchise for the rest of his career. The team would be wise to lock him up with a long-term deal as the market for shortstops better than Desmond does not exist.
The only in-house option for replacing Desmond is moving Danny Espinosa to shortstop. The Nationals do not have anyone in the farm system who is ready to make the jump to the majors, and Espinosa is not the hitter that Desmond is. As much as they may not like it, the team needs to make Desmond the offer he wants.
Troy Tulowitzki and Starlin Castro are the two biggest shortstops being discussed as possibly moving before the trade deadline. But Tulowitzki will most likely stay with the Colorado Rockies, and the Nationals have not expressed interest in Castro nor are they considered a contender for him.
Desmond needs to stay in Washington, and the Nationals have to do what it takes to keep the 28-year-old shortstop.
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