Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo has maintained that he is “open-minded” about a long-term contract extension for all-star shortstop Ian Desmond. But, for now, the timing doesn’t appear to be right.
Both sides said Wednesday that the subject hasn’t been broached since last year, when Rizzo approached Desmond about the idea of talks, but the shortstop tabled it because it was during the season. Both Rizzo and Desmond were in no hurry take up the matter again now.
“When we get there, we get there,” Desmond said. “We’ll see what unfolds at that point. Right now I got a one-year deal and I’m as happy as ever, ready to go.”
Desmond blossomed into an all-star shortstop last season and pieced together perhaps the best all-around season at his position in the majors last year. He received a significant bump in salary this winter, his first time being eligible for arbitration, and agreed to a $3.8 million contract for 2013. He is only 27, a team leader and under team control through the the 2015 season.
He said the team asked his agent, Doug Rogalski, if they would be interested in the possibility of an extension last season, and his side said yes. No dollars and terms were discussed, Desmond said.
“I have no intention of going anywhere,” he said. “I don’t think they have any intention of moving me. I don’t see what the urgency is. If it’s something that they feel is going to work out for them and we feel like it.”
Rizzo said he is open to discuss possible contract extensions with players during the season. Jordan Zimmermann, who is still in negotiations with the team over an unsettled arbitration case, is also a candidate for a long-term extension, and the Nationals talked briefly with him about one before the 2012 season.
“With the few guys that we’re thinking about extending, I don’t think that there’s any deadline,” Rizzo said. “There’s no vital deadline that has to be met.”
Adam Kilgore contributed to this report.