Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Ian Desmond had a chance to cash in with a seven-year, $107 million extension with the Washington Nationals prior to last season, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
Instead, he opted to play out his final year of arbitration in search of even bigger money in free agency.
As an elite offensive shortstop coming off of three consecutive 20/20 seasons, it seemed entirely possible that he could find more money than that on the open market, but his 2015 season did not go according to plan.
While he did some damage control with a strong second half, he still finished with a disappointing .233/.290/.384 line that included 19 home runs and 13 stolen bases.
Despite those mediocre numbers, Desmond was still the top shortstop of this year's free-agent class, and he turned down a qualifying offer from the Nationals to begin the offseason.
His market has been slow to develop to this point, but a potential change in his defensive role could change that.
Buster Olney of ESPN offered up the following:
"The 30-year-old Desmond is coming off a season in which he struggled both defensively and offensively, and it might make sense for him to consider a one-year deal and a transition to a super-utility role."
He goes on to speculate that the San Francisco Giants could be a potential fit, with Desmond seeing the bulk of his playing time in left field but also serving as the primary backup across the infield.
After watching a number of teams clamor to sign Ben Zobrist before he eventually joined the Chicago Cubs, it stands to reason that there would be no shortage of interest in Desmond if he were willing and able to accept such a role.