Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was quoted by Amanda Comak in the Washington Times and, from the sounds of it, Ian Desmond is in line for a contract extension:
“We don’t discuss negotiations with players and that type of thing,” Rizzo said. “But we feel Ian is one of our leaders. He’s one of the guys that is our core players and he’s a guy we’d like to be with the Nationals for a long time.”
Desmond is under team control through 2015, but the Nats certainly have a nice core in place and Desmond is part of it, so if they can save a few bucks over the long haul by locking him up through arbitration and maybe a bit more now, it’d be a good move.
Probably complicated a lot by Elvis Andrus’ new extension.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.