Colorado Rockies: The past, present and future of Ian Desmond
By David Sharp
Even if the Rockies choose to move Desmond, that may not be possible thanks to the massive albatross that is his contract. Desmond is only in year two of his five-year, $70 million deal, making him nearly impossible to trade without eating a significant sum of money. There is almost no way that the Rox will ever get fair value out of the deal and Desmond seems doomed to bear the scorn from the fanbase for the remainder of his time here.
For or better or worse, however, Desmond is locked in as the everyday starter at the cool corner. There are officially no other first basemen on the roster and only Ryan McMahon and Pat Valaika have logged any innings there.
It is interesting to note that the Rockies did just re-sign our old friend Matt Holliday, who was last seen playing first base for the New York Yankees. Thoughts of Holliday supplanting Desmond as the regular first baseman seem far-fetched however, as in 2017 Holliday managed only an OPS+ of 95 while accruing -1.0 WAR defensively (in only eight games in the field, no less).
If the Rockies are going to make the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history, they need the June-July Desmond, not the April-May Desmond. The bad Desmond was a black hole that could single-handedly drag the team into its crushing maw. The good Desmond could be enough to make us forget the size of that contract for once in Desi’s rocky Rockies career.
It is always possible, through some miracle of baseball fate, that we could get the June Desmond in October. A June Desmond in the playoffs would be the type of legend-making performance that could generate goodwill in LoDo for life.
This is mystical thinking, however, and there’s another side of the coin to be aware of. In his postseason career so far, Desmond has hit only .264/.278/.302 for a meager .580 OPS across four series – all losses.