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How much is Desmond worth?

Jan 7, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

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One of the Nationals’ top priorities over the next couple of months, as previously mentioned here and elsewhere, is to sign Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann to long-term contract extensions.

Why now? Because each player is two years away from free agency, and that’s usually the most popular window of opportunity to lock a guy up. Wait another year, and players are more inclined to test the open market and see just how much they can get once multiple clubs are in the running.

It’s the exact same situation the Nationals and Ryan Zimmerman found themselves in two years ago, and the end result was a 6-year, $100 million extension that runs through at least 2019.

So, what kind of numbers might it take to keep Desmond and Zimmermann in D.C. for the long-term? We’ll tackle Zimmermann’s case in the next few days, but let’s focus today on Desmond, who over the last two seasons has firmly established himself as one of baseball’s best shortstops.

How good has Desmond been? Well, among all qualifying shortstops with at least 1,000 plate appearances over the last two years, he ranks first in OPS (.812), slugging percentage (.480) and RBI (153), second in homers (45) and batting average (.286) and third in WAR (7.1).

That’s elite company, and so Desmond certainly can make a case that he deserves a contract comparable to other elite shortstops. What do other elite shortstops make? Well, there are currently six others earning an average of at least $10 million per season: Jose Reyes, Derek Jeter, Troy Tulowitzki, Elvis Andrus, Hanley Ramirez and Jimmy Rollins. The first four names on that list each earn more than $15 million per season.

Desmond made a relatively paltry $3.8 million last year, his first as an arbitration-eligible player. If he goes through the arbitration process again this winter, he stands to earn a nice raise, probably something in the range of $7 million.

That’s still a far cry from $15 million a year, but that’s how much Desmond undoubtedly would command if he puts together two more strong seasons and then hits free agency.

On top of that, Desmond remains young — he just turned 28 in September — and he has kept himself on the field, playing in at least 154 games three of the last four seasons.

So, what does that all work out to in years and dollars? Seems to me a 7-year, $100 million deal would represent fair market value. Desmond would make more than $14 million per season and would be signed through age 34.

Sure sounds reasonable for one of baseball’s best shortstops, not to mention one of the Nationals’ best players and clubhouse leaders.

  1. David Proctor - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:12 AM

    7 years is 1 more year than I’m comfortable with. I’d prefer something around 6/100. I wouldn’t be torn if we did 7, although I worry about his defense in the last couple years of that deal. You also figure the speed will be gone then which diminishes some of his value.

    Also perhaps a small concern, but I’m worried about how Desmond will react to an extension. I feel like he’s one of the guys who at times tries to do too much. I’m worried he’ll feel he has to live up to some big contract and slump (see: Werth, Jayson in 2011–although not as bad since he’s not proving himself to a new city). Probably a silly concern to have though.

    • 3on2out - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:07 AM

      DP: I am always a big fan of your posts. You invariably hit the proverbial ball on the sweet spot. But I am thinking you are not properly caffineated yet. Mark proposes 7 years for $100M. But you prefer 6 years for $100M? Aren’t you just throwing a year of team control away? I also think that the biggest problems with players trying to justify a huge new contract occur when they change teams. Desmond would be staying home with his future and his family’s future set. He may simply relax…and perhaps not try “to do too much.” Again, I am a fan of yours…but in this instance I must beg to differ.

  2. unterp - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    How much is Desmond worth?

    At least two wooden nickles…

  3. JayB - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    He is worth whatever it takes to sign him. Nats must have him for the “window” which is really only the next 2 or 3 years (Davey wasted two of the 5 year window). Yes they will have to given him a longer contract then they need him for but just like ZimN it does not matter how long (Lerner has the money) It just matters that this team plays with passion and poise and they do not assume anything is given to them.

    • zmunchkin - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:05 AM

      Davey did not waste two years. He spent two years building the framework for the window! Don’t forget that the Nats were an awful team when he took over (winning streak aside).

  4. natsfan1a - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    Well, let me just see what I’ve got on hand. (rustle, rustle…clink) ummm…Here’s the thing. I kind of spent a lot of dough in the past few months. hmmm…lessee. I’ve got about…umm… Well, howzabout you get this one, Ted, and I’ll just owe you, okay? Just, you know, whatever you and Mikey think is fine with me. Just, you know, pay the man, ’cause I kinda like having him around. Yeah, that’ll work.

    • MicheleS - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:02 AM

      +1 :-)

  5. sjm308 - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:58 AM

    To Mark’s point – I like his ideas and think that is actually fair market value. Like others, to me, he is the most important of the two signings. If you look at how Rizzo has built this team, he has emphasized young arms and we have players in the development stages that make me feel like JZmmnn is not the priority that Desmond is. Don’t get me wrong, I want them both signed but we honestly have no replacement for Desmond at this point in time.

    To David – I also like your posts but have no worries about Desmond’s psychological reaction to an extension. It is what every big league player works for and I think he will handle it with poise. My son follows him on twitter and he appears to be a young man with family values and a passion for the game.

    TO JayB – I continue to be amazed at how many issues I have with your writing. If it is not harping on Davey and Rizzo its this stupid “Window”. What makes you think this club can’t continue to play well year after year? We won 98 games two years ago, we won 86 games last year. I am not saying we are going to be the next Atlanta Braves but how did their “Window” work out? They won something like 13 or 14 Division championships in a row. Is it that you have no faith in our GM to continue to field a strong team? Is it that you just like to harp on negativity? Or is it that you have no creativity and can’t find something new to gripe about (I would use a stronger word but this is a family site, right Mark?). While the playoffs are never a lock, I think this team will continue to be a group that contends year after year. I can only guess that since you think the “sky is falling” you assume we are not re-signing any of our young stars. This is why I have nicknamed you Eeyore, nothing good is ever going to happen in your world.

    We both are fans of this team but you express it totally different than I do. I am positive that 1. I would have never recruited you & 2. you would have never lasted on any teams I coached. But you certainly have a right to continue with your “window” and your lamenting about Davey and others. I chose to look positively toward another great year.

    Go Nats!!

    • Joe Seamhead - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      Thank you for articulating what I was thinking in a much nicer way than I would have been able to have written, Coach.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:44 AM

        Funny how different folks perceive things. One guy says Davey wasted 2 years of a “window” when in most of ours reality the Nats were 2 years ahead of schedule in 2012.

    • cayucosbaseballconservancy - Jan 7, 2014 at 5:06 PM

      And I still tire of your incessant need to criticize someone’s comments. My god this site is full of sycophants who desire only to hear themselves speak? No one looks hard at the stats. No one considers the pros and cons both financial and talent-wise. Less than anyone else do you ever consider the efforts of player development in putting together future lineups? Desmond is a part of that as is the glove of Espinosa. In fact the loss of the glove of Espinosa damaged Desmond’s year fielding-wise. Desmond was forced to make up for a still rehabbing Zim and his scatter arm at third base plus a complete newbie playing second base? Clearly Desmond is the type of player who would try to cover both positions to help out.

      JayB is wrong to blame Davey when clearly the blame for this sits on Rizzo. But when he opines he typically conveys some valid points.

      Whereas more often than not yours are less than enlightening shall we say? And often fueled by excess alcohol imbibing.

    • letswin3 - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:11 PM

      Joe says “two years ahead of schedule in 2012″ …..you betcha, Joe. I was primed to persevere through ’12 an ’13 waiting to get to the promised land of watching a 2014 competitive club with a chance. They had more than a chance each of the last two seasons, and I’m not ashamed of what Davey and Mike gave us …. maybe a little disappointed about last year, but satisfied that they improved both the pipeline and the on-field product. Hey, I’d been waiting for decades to see a competitive club here (hell, any club, really), and although I didn’t always agree with Davey and Mike (mainly about personnel), it was great to see fans filling seats and a team that I could be proud of. I’ve never been more enthusiastic about a season than the one that’s about to begin.

  6. JayB - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    Baseball has changed SJM from the days of Braves run….and yes I do think our ownership and GM are at risk for doing what they have done already…that is, assume they are smarter and their talent is better than the rest of baseball. That they will always be in the playoff hunt and that they do not need to ever “go for it” in July because next year will be even better……history has proven that is a false assumption for the current baseball world.

    Nats will lose Strass, ZimN and Harper because Rizzo and Lerner will decide they can do better with that money needed to sign them. That will be the end of the window because they can not do better….check Soriano, Haren, Jackson, ADR, Werth signings for value…..FA signings to replace your own stars in their prime does not work.

  7. nats1924 - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:10 AM

    I think Desi takes this deal. It’s fair for both sides

  8. scnatsfan - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    What is fair doesn’t matter; for Desi, the question is how much of a hometown discount he gives not to move, make new friends, learn a new clubhouse. He can get more somewhere else, the market has shown that. The question is does Desi want to stay here or does Desi want to sign for as much as he can. If he can sign for 20M somewhere else that is a pretty large sum to throw away.

  9. Hiram Hover - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    Question – how is Ryan Z’s contract relevant to Desi? Is it a ceiling? A floor? Irrelevant?

    ZImm was extended 2 years ago, with 2 years left under team control, and would have been a FA now if he hadn’t signed (how different would this off-season look then?!).

    Obviously, one difference is that an extension for Desi would buy out his 2 remaining arb eligible years, while Zimm’s extension left in place a contract he already had for those 2 years totaling $26M, which is more than Desi will make in arbitration. So Desi has more of an incentive in the short term than Zimm did, tho if he continues to perform well and hits FA 2 years from now, I think that with inflation he would at least match the $100M/6 years Zim got for the added years.

    PS – Right now, $100M/6 years for Zimm looks pretty good from the team’s perspective–the team needs him to put up an average of ~2.5 WAR per season to pay out. Even in last year’s often aggravating season, he was worth 3 fWAR, 3.8 rWAR.

    • tcostant - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:18 AM

      This is a great point!!!

      I also feel that Mark is a little light in what is needed to get a deal done. Desi could make about $20M the next few years and then sign a $130M free agnecy deal. I think 6 years / $100M is the STARTING POINT and it might take $10M more than that or another year with more dollars.

  10. NatsLady - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    Craig Stammen gonna be on the TV this morning.

    Bob Uecker chats about “Major League,” plus @Nationals RHP @cstammen35 & former @Mariners slugger Jay Buhner join #MLBNHotStove at 9aE!

  11. Section 222 - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    Clarification please — in arbitration, is Desi likely to get a $7 million raise, or a $ 7 million salary?

    I’m all for signing Desi for whatever it takes. A power hitting shortstop who is a good defensive player with a rocket arm, and a team leader to boot, is not a player to nickel and dime (or shave a year off). Those don’t come around often, as Mark’s list of comparably paid players shows.

    sjm, I have to disagree with you on the “window” question. The Nats do have a window with Harper, Stras, JZnn, Gio, Ramos, and Rendon still getting better, or at least still in their 20s, and Zim and Werth not yet declining too much. Baseball is way too competitive to assume we’re going to be good year after year. Maybe I’m not conditioned by years of following the Senators or Expos to be satisfied with being ok. It’s time to win. Give up Desi and the chances of that go way, way down. Because unlike pitching, we don’t have diddley behind him at SS. We just have Danny.

    • Mark Zuckerman - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:13 AM

      Sorry, I should’ve been more clear. Desmond is likely to get a raise from $3.8 million to $7 million.

  12. Theophilus T.S. - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    I think Mark is low-balling Desmond. Folks who are fretting about “age 34″ and post-bonanza slumps are ignoring the realities of the FA marketplace. As Werth illustrates, to get five good years from an elite or semi-elite player you have to buy seven and cross your fingers. Second, Desmond is already a better player than Reyes or Andrus — and I’m not comparing him to Jeter, who’s getting legacy money. Third, at the rate contracts are going up $14MM in 2020 is going to look closer to $8-$9MM today, maybe even $7. Now, you say, I’ll pay him less in the first few years of a 7-year, $100 contract and more at the back end so Desmond’s value isn’t squeezed by inflation. To which I say, look at my second point, above. I think Desmond is a must-sign, at almost any price. It’s not like he’s represented by Boras or is going to get Alex Rodriguez money. Zimmerman gave the Nats a “discount” for reasons that probably don’t apply to Desmond. And you can argue whether Zimmerman is underpaid or overpaid according to the market. But whatever the market was his signing was two years ago and past its shelf-date for purposes of making comparisons. I think you give him six years for $110MM, at least, plus an attainable option. You don’t give that money to Z’mann; deals of that length for pitchers approaching 30 aren’t wise; almost no amount of finger-crossing will spare them from injury at some point. And a pitcher even at Z’mann’s level is more replaceable than a cornerstone middle infielder who plays every day.

    • jd - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      Theo,

      I agree with your analysis 100% regarding both Desmond and JZimm.

    • Section 222 - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      Great post. Also, I sure hope that Zim’s contract isn’t some kind of conscious or unconscious cap on what kind of deals the Nats’ key players coming up to their contact years can expect. “No one can make more than Zim did” would be a very bad policy to follow.

      Anyone know if their is an heir apparent in the Yankees’ system for Jeter? If not, Desi would make a very appealing target for 2016, and a worthy successor. Be afraid, be very afraid.

      • Theophilus T.S. - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        I hope Harper turns out to be the monster everyone predicts. I really do (though I’m not 100 percent confident). Assuming he does, then I think the Nats probably dream of a long term $300-$400MM contract as much as Boras does. Indeed, it might be the only case where Boras is aiming below what turns out to be achievable. So, there is no chance that the Zimmerman contract becomes a “cap” on future long-term signings.

        In this context, Kilgore/Wagner’s hypothesis that the Nats are planning on a $140MM/year budget into the indefinite future begs reality. To buy a pennant-winning rotation, let alone fill out the rest of the lineup care, is probably a $90-$100MM proposition. (Illustrating how fortunate the Nats are at the moment and how difficult/expensive it will be to contend beyond 2016.) In three years the luxury tax level will be up to $200MM or more and the Nats will need to spend much more than $140MM if they aim to be in the playoffs every year. Once a team reaches the top of the pile they must continue to spend to dominate the conversation in their home market or the peripherals (merchandising, concessions, in-stadium advertising, club seats) where the teams make their gravy will slide by as much as they pretend they are saving.

      • Section 222 - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        Harper is a special case, and the pitchers have a different market. But paying more to Desi or, when the time comes, Rendon, than Zim makes, might be a different story.

      • Jw - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:30 AM

        The total value of Zimmerman’s contract is less than Werth’s, so any theory that Zim might be an upper limit is bunk.

  13. Joe Seamhead - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    As far as how much money Desmond is worth to the Nats, I agree he’s worth whatever it takes to sign him. There’s nobody else in the Nats system that appears to be anything close to being a ML caliber shortstop, and to trade for another one of his talent it would cost a lot more then what it would cost to give Desi whatever it takes to keep him here.

    • jd - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      Joe,

      There aren’t more than a handful of SS in Desi’s league so you can’t even get them in a trade or via FA if you wanted to. Steven Drew will get a huge contract and he’s nowhere as good or as reliable as Desi. When you have a SS who is that good both defensively and at the plate you can’t let him slip away.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:37 AM

        I agree, jd. Also, not only has Desi paid his dues to get to the point of deserving a big payday from the Nats, the Nats also paid a fair share of dues themselves in sticking with him in the early years when many on this board were ready to throw him under the bus.

    • snerdblurter - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      Agreed w/ Theo & Joe. Desi may not be as talented as Harper or Stras, but he is the most irreplaceable guy on our roster right now. They just don’t make too many like him. Barring serious injury, I also don’t see any reason why he can’t continue to be AT LEAST as productive, consistent and durable as he’s been over the last two years. I actually think he could get something very similar to Werth’s deal, but will probably end up closer to 7/$115-120 due to Rizzo’s hardline approach and my assumption that Desi will want to lock something down for the longest term as soon as possible.

  14. NatsLady - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    6/120 or 7/130. I don’t think he signs for less and I don’t think he should.

  15. jd - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    NatsLady,

    Tulowitzki got 7/134. I don’t think Desi is quite as good as Tulo but I think that he’s in the ballpark. I think 6/110 or 7/120 is about right.

    I think when evaluating who is a must sign for the Nats and who is a very nice to have Desi should be right at the top of the 1st list.

    • NatsLady - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      Agree Desi’s skills are not quite as elite as Tulo’s. However, he’s kept himself on the field, and there is also inflation (i.e., the national TV deal that sent $25MM to each team, not the MASN deal).

  16. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    All these numbers are making me dizzy. Besides there is such a thing as home team discount. None of these numbers suggest that Nationals are getting one.

    • NatsLady - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      I’m not sure Desi would give one, at least not a substantial one. Why should he? Yes, there is a comfort level with this team, but how much, exactly, is that worth to a young man who lives in Florida, seems to get along well with managers and teammates, and is an established veteran?

      • Faraz Shaikh - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:03 AM

        If he is not giving us a discount, I don’t mind waiting at least another year to sign him. I realize that he is likely to test FA waters as FA nears but paying market value for two arb-controlled years does not make sense to me.

      • NatsLady - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:18 AM

        I think the reason you pay “market price” is because good shortstops are hard to find, no matter what the price.

        Who is coming up through the system? Zach Walters? Please–nice enough kid, but not at Desi’s level unless he has massive improvement in his fielding.

        Who is coming available as a FA in two years that is comparable–and cheaper–than Desi? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

        You pay market price to lock up a guy who is worth market price.

  17. Section 222 - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Why should the Nats get a home team discount from Desi? Zim I can understand because he is actually from this area, his family is nearby, and he wanted various special provisions relating to his charity. But Desi? Why? Just because the Nats gave him his chance or something? Nah.

    Like I said yesterday, I don’t care if he signs a team friendly deal. I just want him to sign.

    • Jw - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      Zim and Desi are in the same situation. It doesn’t matter where they grew up or live. The Nats/Expos organization is the only professional baseball home either one of them has ever had. And Desi has been with the franchise even longer than Zim.

      • Section 222 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:23 PM

        If you believe that, fine. Go ahead and be angry that he’s not signing for less than he deserves. I seriously doubt Desi is looking at it that way, and I don’t blame him at all.

      • Jw - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:03 PM

        Not saying that Desi shouldn’t get every cent he can. Merely pointing out that he’s every bit as much a hometown guy as Zim is, even though he’s not from DC and doesn’t live here in the offseason.

  18. NatsLady - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Also, sjm, I think your comments regarding the draftability and coachability of JayB are unfair unless you know what kind of athlete he is. Within limits, a coach should be able to manage different personality types and a GM should draft on talent, potential, and “character” (by which I mean, not a drug-addict, wife-beater, poor work ethic, etc.).

    • sjm308 - Jan 7, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      Natslady – doubt if you come back to this but of course I tried to recruit talent and in the brief time you have with high school athletes on a recruiting visit, you don’t get a true read on who they are but if I had an athlete that was complaining all the time and had a hard time grasping my philosophy and was basically a cancer in the locker room, you can bet I would get rid of him no matter how talented he was. I kicked a National Champion off my team after his soph. year when he got too big for his britches. So you can think its unfair but it was my program and my job on the line so it was pretty much my way or the highway. You can disagree with that but I lived that life for 40 years and of course I managed many athletes who had a hard time with self esteem or believing in what we were trying to accomplish but most came around and while some did leave it was fun to watch kids grow from 18- 22, both athletically and as humans. Not sure JayB would have bought into what I was selling though.

    • JayB - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:02 PM

      I was team captain type who over achieved and ran throw walls. I lead off and had no natural talent…I was coached in College to get hit by pitches and I did it gladly.

      Yes I was a failed athlete for lots of reasons not the least of which I did not get cash for playing but I never ever had a coach or manager who did not love the way I played the game of lead by example on the field.

    • JayB - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:04 PM

      Also why I love Harper…..He reminds me of the player I tried to emulate….Pete Rose

  19. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    I also don’t get elite SS argument. If his production can be replaced at another position, I don’t care how much WAR desmond produces for next ten years as SS. I am not saying that he should sign for 5/$60 MM or something but there should be some incentive for Nationals to extend him besides having an elite SS earning that much more money and having nothing left to upgrade elsewhere.

    If Desi gets a $100 MM contract, that will be our third player. Dodgers and maybe Yankees are the only teams with that many $100 MM contracts. Besides if you give Desi $100 MM, what do you give JZ? He is going to be a tougher sign and likely to ask for more money.

    • NatsLady - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:20 AM

      JZ is more replaceable than Desi. Not saying it’s easy to replace him, but, for whatever reason, our system is good at drafting and developing pitchers–so good that we could trade away Alex Meyer and Robbie Ray. We also have some outfielders in the system. But not a lot of infielders that I am seeing.

    • Hiram Hover - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:44 AM

      Agree with NL about the comparison to JZimm, but agree with Faraz about the need to be careful in labeling Desi “elite.”

      Desi’s hitting, absolutely, is elite – he’s got the best wRC+ of any of 17 qualifying SS over 2012-13 (he falls to 2d if you include Hanley).

      But his defense, even after improving over what it was in 2009-11, is middling to poor–he’s 10 of 17 if you rank defense by UZR, and 14 of 17 if you rank by DRS.

      If the Nats got a truly elite defensive SS, his total contribution could be equal to Desi’s even if he were lighter hitting – and the team as a whole could, as Faraz says, also make up the difference by beefing up the offense at other positions.

      None of which is to say I don’t want to keep Desi. I do. But this “sign him at any cost” talk is unrealistic.

      • NatsLady - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        Good points. But if you are seeing the next Andrelton Simmons in our system you are seeing more than I am.

      • Hiram Hover - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:43 PM

        NL

        Nope, I don’t see a Simmons in the Nats farm system, but I also don’t see an immediate need for one–the team controls Desi for 2 more years.

        If in the meantime they can work out a deal that makes sense for both sides, great. If not, there’s plenty of time, and plenty of other ways–trade, draft, FA signing–for the team to fill the hole at SS and make up for Desi’s lost value.

        He will be missed (for one thing, he’s the only current player whose autograph I have!) but he is not irreplaceable.

  20. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    NL, let’s just agree to disagree.

    I want Desi to stay here longer but if we are paying market price, we can do that when he becomes a free agent.

    • unkyd59 - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:01 PM

      FS… Could there be more than one “market value”? The market, today, is less than the market two years down the road… AND the later market will have other deep-pocketed bidders involved… I prefer the market of NOW!!!

      • Faraz Shaikh - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:09 PM

        Yes, there is always that but we will also be talking about a 30 years old Desi, not 28 years old.

  21. shawndc04 - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Re: The home town discount.

    Desi has already said that he is not giving a home town discount ( I don’t recall if I saw the comment in Kilgore, Wagner, or Ladson), and I see no reason why he should. Given what he’s done on the field and in the clubhouse the past two years, he’s certainly entitled to market rate.

    • texnat1 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:26 PM

      If he is not giving a discount, then he will not sign for less than Andrus did.

      • Hiram Hover - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:41 PM

        It’s surprising that some folks seem to think Zimm *did* give the Nats a home town discount.

        Some of his compensation was deferred as a personal services contract–which I think MLB no longer allows–but the total $$$ value struck most professional evaluators as market rate or even a slight over-pay at the time. And if you go back and read the Natsinsider comments threads from 2 years ago, a lot of commenters were complaining that Zim *didn’t* given the Nats a home town discount.

  22. trochlis318 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    I would love 7/100 but that is a sever discount for a player of desmond’s caliber at SS. i expect the basis to go off the Tulo contract and be somethign like 7/120-130 or 6/100-120 now just imagine if we got him to sign an extension 2 years ago when we didn’t know his value, bet we could have gotten a 9/80 deal or a 10/100

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      Why would you sign Desmond to an extension two years ago? Two years ago, pretty much everyone was trying to trade him.

      • trochlis318 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:56 PM

        i was saying imagine

      • Faraz Shaikh - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:48 PM

        I am just saying that it is hard to imagine Nats doing that to a player who has not done anything at major league level and was not a top prospect in the game.

  23. scbilly - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Question for people who think Desi and other players owe the team a “home town discount” – have you ever turned down job offers at a higher salary to stay with a current employer for less money? Why do you think ballplayers, whose careers are much shorter than average, are obligated to leave money on the table? It’s fine when a player chooses to do so, but I’m curious why some people are under the impression they’re obliged to do it?

    • Eugene in Oregon - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      Agree completely. In my mind, the only sort of ‘discount’ a player might give his original team is the willingness to avoid a bidding war and accept some version ‘fair market value’ (not a lower-than-average salary for a player of his caliber, age, etc.).

    • texnat1 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      I don’t think anyone is saying that he “owes” a discount, they are just speculating as to whether he might give one.

      And yes, it is not uncommon for people to turn down more money to stay at a job where they are happy. I have done so.

      But I would not blame Desmond for deciding to go for everything he can get in the least.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      I don’t see how that comparison is fair.

      • scnatsfan - Jan 7, 2014 at 5:32 PM

        Well I think it is fair that people easily give away millions of dollars for athletes like saying there isn’t much of a difference between 60 and 65 million. From what I learned in school that’s 5 million which, to me, is a lot of money.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:47 PM

        I have never held a job where they trained me and put up with me for six years so I can produce up to any decent standards.

  24. mrnat7 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    TOP PRIORITY! Get the mess with MASN settled, so we can get the additional money to sign these players. Isn’t three long enough to find a solution. Call up the lawyers and sue MLB and Angelos! We should not have to play under unfair conditions.

    • nats128 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      Nats Journal laid it out well in a Q & A. If there info is correct, Angelos pocketed at least $80 million last year between his MASN share of profit based on his 86% ownership in 2013 plus the annual rights fee. That number doesn’t even include any salary Angelos might be taking from MASN.

      There were some good comments you should read there.

      If the Nats we’re pulling $80 million from MASN then extending Desi and JZ is a no brainer.

  25. janebeard - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    I think this would be a great deal for the Nats and a good one for Desi. As for those talking about the need for a hometown discount —phooey. None is needed. None is deserved. They didn’t extract a discount from Ryan Z, and they paid a premium to get Jayson to MAKE this his hometown. Pay Desi as much as it takes to keep him ours. He is a Nat through and through.

    Disclaimer: I type this yards away from the Ian Desmond semi-shrine I keep in the kitchen.

  26. unkyd59 - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    I have to say, and a card-carrying member of The Believers In Desi ’11, it sure does my heart good to see these kind if numbers bandied about! He’s ours, and I think that getting him done now, is best for the team…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 73 53 --
ATLANTA 67 61 7.0
MIAMI 63 63 10.0
NEW YORK 60 68 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 56 71 17.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
THU: OFF
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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