Q & A: Desmond faces uncertain future
Nationals shortstop eligible for free agency after season
One thing can be said about Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond: He is accountable for everything he does on the field -- good or bad. He will be the first to say he didn't have the season he would have liked.
With more than a week left in the 2015 regular season, one wonders if he will be a member of the Nationals past this year, as he will become a free agent. MLB.com caught up with Desmond before Saturday's game against the Phillies to talk about his career with the Nationals.
MLB.com: We are coming close to the end of the season. What comes to mind when you talk about the 2015 Nationals?
Ian Desmond: Frustration, because this isn't the way we wanted it to go this year. You have to deal with the cards that you have been dealt and move on. I've said my entire career, whatever happens -- good or bad -- you have to keep moving forward. No sense in letting it weigh you down. If this is the biggest problem, we are doing pretty good.
MLB.com: You have been with the organization since the Montreal days. This is the only organization you have ever known. Will you likely leave the organization after the season?
Desmond: I've been here for a long time. Like you said, this is pretty much all I know. It's not over yet. There are still games to be played. Who knows what will happen going forward? They have the qualifying offer and whatever else. Who knows what the future will hold?
MLB.com: Since you mentioned it, if the team made a qualifying offer to you, would you take it?
Desmond: That's the beauty of free agency. You have options. I would consider anything, to be honest.
MLB.com: You are the first player I've ever heard say that.
Desmond: I'm not saying right now, "Put [the qualifying offer] in front of me and I'll sign." You have to consider everything in those situations. That would be something to be considered.
MLB.com: The first half of this season wasn't as good as you would have liked. The second half was better. In retrospect, what happened in the first half?
Desmond: It's baseball. Things happen in baseball. If I knew how or why, I probably never would have been in that situation. Looking back at it now, I hold my head high. As bad as it was, I made it out alive. I was able to continue to battle through it and turn it around.
MLB.com: What will you do differently to make sure that you don't have another year like that?
Desmond: I have some ideas on what I'm planning on doing, but until the season is done, I go home and kind of dissect about what happened, we can go from there.
MLB.com: We spoke to Trea Turner about you. He has nothing but good things to say. What do you have to say about him? He is scheduled to be the Nationals' starting shortstop next year.
Desmond: I think he is going to be one heck of a ballplayer. In a short period of time, not only has he come in and ran the bases, he has played well defensively at second base. He made a quick transition at second base in the short time that he has been here. He works hard every day. He is taking early ground balls every single day. He is in the cage every day. He has the will to be the player that he wants to be. I think the only thing is, continue to work this offseason, make sure he stays healthy. I don't think there is anything holding him back. He is going to be one heck of a ballplayer.
MLB.com: If you had to look back, what happened to the 2015 Nationals?
Desmond: At the end of the year, the team shouldn't be defined by expectations. At the end of the day, after 162 games, you are what you are. World Series champ at the end of the year is a World Series champ. Second place doesn't mean anything. This is how good we were this year. Should we have been better? I don't know. This is the team we were. It wasn't for a lack of effort or will or anything like that. Are we a success or failure? I don't know. This is the team we ended up being.
MLB.com: Is there anything you would like to say to Nationals fans?
Desmond: Going forward, I encourage them to come out and support the team. This is the 10th anniversary of the Washington Nationals. In those 10 years, we went from a 100-loss-a-season team to a team that continues to play meaningful games in September. In 10 years, we have come a long way. Continue to support the team, come out and cheer your guys on and enjoy it. We've set the bar, and [the players] have to clear that bar. In order to do it, we have to be on the same page. That includes the fans. Continue to support, continue to come out. They have some special players on this team. Just enjoy it. If you are a Nationals fan for life, they are going to have some very exciting times. So get on board now.