Rockies sign Ian Desmond to a 5-year deal

The Colorado Rockies made an unexpected move at the Winter Meetings by signing Ian Desmond to a 5-year/$70 million contract. Colorado already had an outstanding lineup with players like Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez, Trevor Story, and Charlie Blackmon. Ian Desmond just adds another threat to the Rockies lineup, although it’s kind of unclear as to how well he will fit in defensively. The Rockies view Desmond as the starting 1st baseman in 2017 and that is what makes this move so shocking. Desmond has never even played a game at 1st base in his career, so it will be interesting to see how well he can adjust to the position. Desmond has never been a good defensive player as he has been a shortstop for most of his career. However, Desmond became the starting centerfielder for the Rangers last season which showed he has the ability to play a different position. Desmond is clearly being brought in for his outstanding offensive skills. Desmond has hit 19 or more home runs in each of the past 5 seasons, so he could probably hit 30 home runs considering that he is playing most of his games at altitude at Coors Field. This is certainly a good move for the Rockies to make their lineup even more dangerous, but this signing also comes with risks. The main reason it is such a risky move is because the Rangers extended a qualifying offer to Desmond this offseason which means the Rockies will lose their 1st round pick in 2017. Colorado could have used that draft pick to improve their pitching especially since it was the 11th overall pick which is the highest selection that a team can give up for qualifying offer compensation. Also, this move could significantly hurt the Rockies defense since the 1st base position is one of the most important positions. Desmond doesn’t have any experience at 1st base and he is known as a below average defender already. Desmond hit .285 with 22 home runs last season with Texas, so I can’t wait to see the type of offensive numbers that he’ll put up with the Rockies for the next few years. This move makes the Rockies a better team offensively, but the risks that come along with this signing is too much to give this a great grade.

Grade: B-



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