The Colorado Rockies have been in contact with representatives for free agent shortstop Ian Desmond, according to a report from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Any potential move is contingent on the decision that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred makes regarding Jose Reyes and his domestic violence arrest, as Rosenthal notes:
The Rockies have been in contact with Desmond’s representatives, major-league sources say, but any pursuit of the shortstop likely will be linked to baseball’s decision on Reyes, who would lose a prorated portion of his $22 million salary if he's suspended.
The Reyes trial is scheduled to begin on April 4, the same day the Rockies begin their season with an evening tilt in Phoenix against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox are also reportedly in on Desmond, who slashed .233/.290/.384 in a down season. Prior to that, the 30-year-old former Washington Nationals starting shortstop won three Silver Slugger Awards and, in 2012, was named to the National League All-Star team.
If the Rockies do want to complete a deal with Desmond, they would have to forfeit the 38th selection in next summer's MLB Draft, as the free agent shortstop has a qualifying offer attached. Rosenthal suggests that the Rockies offer Desmond a contract in the neighborhood of one year and $12 million dollars, a slight raise over the $11 million he made with the Nationals last season and a pillow contract for Desmond after a down year in Washington.
Desmond would effectively fit as a stop-gap for the Rockies, providing Trevor Story with more time to develop in Triple-A, should he need it. As Rosenthal points out, Desmond is seen as a very high-character guy and someone clubs want in their locker room; for what it's worth, that's something the Rockies have been known to value in the past.
On the other hand, Desmond may not fit at all, as a presumptive Reyes suspension could be the perfect opportunity for the Rockies to see what they have in both Story and Cristhian Adames in what is already most likely a lost season. With Reyes' fate still undecided, there are quite a few uncertainties at play here. We'll all find out soon enough.