Before the start of the 2017 season, the Colorado Rockies signed Ian Desmond to a five-year, $70 million deal. In order for the Rockies to be free to sign him, Desmond first had to reject a one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer from the Texas Rangers.
Not only has Ian Desmond not lived up to his big contract, as our friends at Purple Row recently pointed out with this year’s struggles, which compound lower-than-expected numbers from past seasons, but let’s not forget that, because of that qualifying offer, the Colorado Rockies had to surrender a first-round pick to the Rangers as part of signing Desmond.
With Desmond’s struggles, I decided to look at how the draft pick the Rockies gave up for Desmond is doing in his quest to reach Major League Baseball.
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Using the 29th overall pick in the 2017 draft (as compensation for losing Desmond), the Rangers selected shortstop Chris Seise from West Orange (Fla.) High School. The (at the time) 18-year-old impressed early, hitting .336/.395/.509 in 27 games at the Rookie League level before moving up to Class A Spokane for 24 games. There, he struggled, slashing .222/.250/.273 in 24 games.
Following the 2017 season, it was announced that Seise would miss the 2018 campaign after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder to “clean out a troublesome rotator cuff.” Returning from that, Seise played in 21 games in 2019 at Class A Hickory before once again having to go under the knife, this time for a torn labrum on his left shoulder.
He is expected to be ready to play in 2020 but will have had just 72 games under his belt since being drafted in 2017. He also will have undergone surgeries on both shoulders. Can he stay healthy and advance toward the Majors?
Desmond, meanwhile, has accumulated a -1.7 WAR this season. That follows a -0.8 WAR in 2017 and -0.7 WAR in 2018, marking just the 10th Major League player since 2014 to post negative WAR in consecutive seasons. As FanGraphs.com describes Desmond in their article, “a two-time All-Star whose decline at the plate and shift away from shortstop has rendered him one of the majors’ least valuable players over the past couple of years, both in terms of WAR and on a dollar-for-dollar basis.”
It has certainly been a struggle for Desmond in Denver and it’s also been a struggle health-wise for the player who the Rangers received as compensation for the Rockies signing him.