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Shortstop Ian Desmond missed over 30 games last season, yet still managed to take home a Silver Slugger Award.
Desmond hit .292 with 25 HR and 73 RBI in 130 games for the Nationals last season.
The two sides were able to avoid arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.8 million contract. Desmond earned $512K last season and was handsomely rewarded for his breakout season.
MLB Trade Rumor had projected a $3.2 million salary for Desmond in 2013.
At just 27 years of age it's not out of the realm of possibility that the two sides could come to terms on a long-term deal.
James Wagner of the Washington Post alluded to that as well:
Desmond seemed like candidate to strike a multi-year deal with the Nationals, a way to buy out some or all of his arbitration years, potentially save some money and avoid this yearly process. He is under team control until 2016. An extension can still be revisited or struck at a later date.
Locking up Desmond would assure the Nats of a terrific left side of the infield along with Ryan Zimmerman for years to come.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.