The San Diego Padres still need a shortstop. Ian Desmond, who has spent the first 7 seasons of his major league career with the Washington Nationals, still needs a home. Could this good fit finally become a reality? According to reports, things are getting closer.
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Jamal Collier of MLB.com and other reports show that indeed the Padres and Desmond are continuing discussions to bring the shortstop to the Padres. The last successful full-time shortstop in San Diego was Khalil Greene, who after being traded to the Cardinals saw a rapid deceleration of his career with anxiety issues. He had pop and was slick defensively, but struggled to keep his average up.
With Desmond, the Padres would have a hitter who hit 88 home runs in the last four seasons. That would be 17 more than the next highest shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki. Last year Desmond struggled to the tune of 27 errors and only 19 home runs, his lowest home run total since 2011. He also only hit .233 compared to a career average of .264 and OBP of .312.
A big piece of this of course is money. Desmond is projected to demand a contract in the area of a 5 year, $80M deal. Whether or not the Padres want another 30+ year old player with a large contract is a big question mark the Padres need to answer. With the contracts of Craig Kimbrel shed it does help the situation some, though having to pay more of Matt Kemp‘s contract this season puts the money at a negative situation again.
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Another question for the Padres is whether they want a veteran to man the position or another placeholder solution until some of their prospects can fill the position long-term?
By signing Desmond, the Padres would lose a draft pick since he was offered a qualifying offer from the Nationals, but the Padres are likely to get two picks of their own assuming Justin Upton and Ian Kennedy sign with other teams.