Report: Nats “actively shopping” shortstop Ian Desmond

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Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post heard from sources Saturday that the Nationals aren’t planning to move Ian Desmond at this year’s trade deadline.

It turns out that might not be completely correct.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Nationals have been “actively shopping” the 25-year-old middle infielder and he’s already drawn serious interest from the Giants and Red Sox. Passan also mentions the Rays as a possible fit.

Desmond, a third-round pick back in 2004, has hit just .228/.276/.313 with three homers and 26 RBI in 378 plate appearances this season. He had a .269/.308/.392 slash line, 10 home runs and 65 RBI in 2010.

The Nats are optimistic that Desmond is better than his rate of production, but they have a shortstop on the way in 22-year-old Stephen Lombardozzi, who has registered an .859 OPS, three home runs and 17 RBI in 31 games since his late-June promotion to Triple-A Syracuse.

Mariano Rivera awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

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Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump on Monday. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor to “individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Babe Ruth was posthumously awarded the medal last year. Yogi Berra got it posthumously in 2015, and Willie Mays and Vin Scully were also awarded it the same year.

Trump and Rivera are close. Rivera, who is from Panama, has been criticized for his relationship with Trump. Defending that relationship, Rivera said on Fox & Friends in July, “Mr. President Trump to me, he was a friend of mine before he became president. So, because he’s president I will turn my back on him? No. I respect him. I respect what he does and I believe he’s doing the best for the United States of America.”

Rivera, 49, served on Trump’s Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission in 2017. In 2018, Rivera co-chaired Trump’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. Rivera also co-hosted a fundraiser dinner for the America First Action PAC, which supports Trump and was also hosted by Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle.

This past January, Rivera became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously. He is the all-time leader in saves with 652 as well as adjusted ERA (also known as ERA+) at 205. He retired with a 2.21 ERA and 1,173 strikeouts across 1,283 2/3 innings, spanning 19 seasons with the Yankees.