CBS Sports has discovered that before Ian Desmond agreed to a 2 year deal worth 17.5 million to buy out his arbitration years, the Nationals made an attempt to sign him long term at about 90 million over about 7 years (exact terms are unknown). Desmond didn’t sign.
This doesn’t mean the Nationals won’t extend Desmond, it just means it will take more than that.
On Desmond’s side, and I can’t believe I’m saying this due how big a 90 million dollar deal is, turning down this extension makes sense. As CBS Sports pointed out, Andrus got a 120 million over 8 year deal from the Rangers, and Desmond is a better player than Andrus. Before last year, Desmond was set to have a break out year with the Nationals and he delivered. If Desmond stays healthy over the next two seasons, he looks to have a huge pay day especially with the contracts that players like Peralta have received.
I do wonder if the Nationals offered an identical deal to Andrus if Desmond would have accepted. The Nationals also deserve no fault in this. They made a legitimate offer to a player that is being compared to a really unfair contract (Andrus’s contract is ridiculous) and with the amount the Nationals will soon have to commit to younger players, it is wise to be cautious.