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.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.