Desmond, a holdover from the Montreal Expos era of the franchise, will become a free agent at the end of the 2015 season but is still open to discussions about a long-term deal, reports Kilgore. The 29-year-old, three-time Silver Slugger award winner settled for a two-year, $17.5 million extension to avoid arbitration. That amount would have been included in the nine-figure offer, meaning Desmond would have made almost $90 million over five non-team-controlled seasons.
The Nationals might prefer to keep Desmond over staff ace Jordan Zimmermann, per Kilgore. Desmond has hit .275/.326/.462 while averaging 23 home runs per year since the beginning of 2012, the Sarasota, Fla., native's lone All-Star season.
Though the offer wasn't made public at the time, Desmond explained his decision to turn it down during spring training.
"I don't want to sign a deal that is so bad that a future shortstop gets screwed because I signed a terrible deal," Desmond told Kilgore. "I'm not going to be that guy, that kink in the chain."
"I'm going to get a fair deal, or I'm just going to wait."