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.
The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.
Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.
In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.