As initially reported by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, free agent Ian Desmond will be meeting with the San Diego Padres in the coming days.
Last season, the Padres were tied in having the least production from shortstop out of any Major League team. Clint Barmes and Alexi Amarista split duties at the position for San Diego last year.
Even though last season was easily a career-worst for Desmond, with a slash line of .233/.290./.384, that still would have been a significant improvement over San Diego’s combined .215/.266/.313 slash line. After trading closer Craig Kimbrel to the Boston Red Sox earlier this offseason, the Padres have lowered their 2016 salary obligations from $75.3 million down to $64.5 million.
Desmond is one of a surprising number of premiere free agents who are still on the market here in January, with apparently little jockeying by teams to sign these players to deals. In addition to Desmond, players like Justin Upton, Chris Davis, Alex Gordon, and Yovanni Gallardo are still available, as are reliable contributors like Howie Kendrick, Dexter Fowler, and Denard Span.