Pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training around baseball, but several notable free agents remain unsigned, largely due to MLB's practice of qualifying offers.
Ian Desmond falls in that category despite boasting three Silver Slugger awards from 2012-14 and 19 homers last year. A new report, however, has the Colorado Rockies entering his sweepstakes.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that "the Rockies have been in contact with Desmond’s representatives," noting that their interest could be dependent on MLB's decision whether to suspend Jose Reyes for a domestic violence incident. Desmond, 30, has also received interest this offseason from the Padres, Rays and White Sox, but Rosenthal calls the Rockies perhaps the "cleanest fit," in part due to the potential opportunity left behind by Reyes.
Last week we explored the possibility of Desmond accepting a one-year deal and whether him resetting next year with experience at other defensive positions would help. Rosenthal notes that the Rockies, who own a protected fourth overall pick, would only have to surrender the 38th overall selection to sign Desmond.
Desmond would be fun to watch at Coors Field, which is known for helping out power numbers. Desmond was fifth in ESPN's 'Golden Sledgehammer' race in 2015. That list ranks the highest average distance per home run for players with at least 18 homers in a season. Desmond averaged 414 feet on his homers, which goes to show his elite power, especially for a shortstop.
Desmond is consistently in the 20-25 homer range. If you put him in Coors, could he hit 25-30? That would certainly help his cause next offseason if he re-entered free agency.
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