The need for the San Diego Padres at shortstop is obvious as the team currently only has Alexi Amarista as a possible candidate on the roster. Amarista owns a sub .280 on base percentage for his career, and is not an option to be in the lineup every day. The Padres need a shortstop, and the best available heading into this winter, Ian Desmond, is still available.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 3, 2016
Desmond has been long rumored to be on the Padres’ radar, but little to nothing has been reported about the two sides coming to an agreement. Jon Morosi of Fox Sports indicated late Saturday night the two sides are having ongoing discussions. So the Padres are kicking the tires on Desmond.
The Padres have room in the budget for him, but they have far pressing issues then just adding Desmond to the lineup. The team has inflated salaries of Matt Kemp, James Shields and Melvin Upton Jr. to worry about and really shouldn’t take on more salary at this point.
With A.J. Preller at the helm, nothing is out of the realm of possibility. The team has been actively shopping Shields and Kemp so moving them could open the door for Desmond. Still the team needs more defensive-minded players, and more left-handed bats. Desmond is neither left-handed, nor does he play above-average defense. In fact his defensive numbers have slipped over the past three seasons.
Ian Desmond is in all reality not what the Padres need right now. The Padres lineup is already right-handed heavy and they also strike out way too much. He is however a really inticing player to acquire. He has that rare combination of speed and power, and did I mention the Padres desperately need a shortstop.
Desmond reportedly turned down a seven year-$107 million dollar contract offer from the Nationals before the 2013 season. He will get nowhere near that now as his offensive numbers are trending the wrong way. The Padres are interested in Desmond, no doubt, but he must be signed on their terms.
The Padres have a nice young trio of shortstops in the minors Ruddy Giron, Jose Rondon and Javier Guerra are all under the age of 21 and have all excelled beyond their young ages. The Padres cannot expect any one of them to be ready in the next two seasons but they will be eventually.
Perhaps a one-year deal with a team option would be beneficial for both sides. Desmond could have an opportunity to boost his value while the Padres get a stop-gap at shortstop until their youth is ready for major league service. I don’t know how much playing at Petco can boost his offensive numbers, but there really are no teams interested in Desmond as a shortstop.
There are rumors some teams might be looking at Desmond as an outfielder or third baseman. That could happen, but once Desmond leaves the shortstop position not only does his value decrease, but the likelihood of him returning to the position also diminishes. I doubt his management team wants to sign Desmond with the plan of changing positions at this point of his career. Again, enter the Padres and their glaring need at the position. The match might just be too good to ignore any further. The terms just need to be worked out and the Padres need to reshuffle their lineup.