Ian Desmond SS WAS 9 Days

Desmond turned down a seven-year, $107 million contract extension last offseason, the Washington Post reports.

He'll be a free agent after 2015, and the Nats will make re-signing Desmond one of their top priorities, but given the market for slugging shortstops you can hardly blame him for thinking he could do significantly better than that amount.

Ian Desmond SS WAS 16 Days

Desmond won his third straight NL Silver Slugger award on Thursday.

His batting average dropped this season to .255, but Desmond still racked up his third straight 20 HR-20 SB season and set a career high with 91 RBI. He'll be eligible from free agency after 2015, assuming he doesn't sign an extension with the Nationals, so don't look for Desmond to slack off next season.

Ian Desmond SS WAS 2 Months

Nationals manager Matt Williams said "there's a chance" Desmond could miss a game during the NLDS or the postseason to be with his pregnant wife, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports.

Desmond will man short and bat fifth, as per usual, in Saturday's Game 2, but his wife is due soon, so he could end up missing a game at some point. If so, the Nats would presumably just shift Asdrubal Cabrera to short, with Danny Espinosa or perhaps Anthony Rendon stepping in at second.

Ian Desmond SS WAS 2 Months

Desmond is not in the lineup for Game 2 of the Nationals' doubleheader Friday.

Desmond played in the first game of the doubleheader as he did in yesterday's doubleheader but will sit for Game 2. Danny Espinosa will get the start at short and will bat seventh for the Nationals.

Ian Desmond SS WAS 2 Months

Desmond is not in the lineup for the second game of Thursday's doubleheader against the Mets, William Ladson of MLB.com reports.

After going 1-for-2 with an RBI in the matinee, Desmond will get the nightcap off. Danny Espinosa will slide over to shortstop, while Asdrubal Cabrera enters the lineup at second base.

Ian Desmond SS WAS 2 Months

Desmond is out of the lineup Sunday against the Marlins.

Desmond has been a staple at shortstop for the Nationals this season, starting 149 of their 154 games up to this point. With the team having already clinched their playoff spot, however, Desmond will give way to Danny Espinosa in what looks to be a regular day of rest. Manager Matt Williams also elected to give regulars Denard Span and Jayson Werth a day off for the Sunday afternoon tilt.

Ian Desmond SS WAS 2 Months

Desmond is not in the lineup Wednesday, MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports.

The Nationals regulars are all getting the day off after clinching a playoff berth Tuesday, and probably celebrating into the night. Danny Espinosa will start at shortstop Wednesday, and Desmond should be back in the lineup in short order.

Ian Desmond SS WAS 2 Months

Desmond went 2-for-4 Tuesday with a double, two runs scored, two RBI and his 23rd home run of the season.

The home run is his first since the end of August, but over his last 10 games Desmond is hitting .333 (13-for-39) with seven RBI and nine runs scored.

Ian Desmond SS WAS 2 Months

Desmond (back) is in the lineup for Thursday's game against the Mets.

As expected, Desmond will return for the opener against the Mets after missing the finale against Atlanta with a lower-back issue. The 28-year-old Desmond is 4-for-9 with two homers in his career against Thursday's starter Bartolo Colon.

Ian Desmond SS WAS 2 Months

Manager Matt Williams expects Desmond (back) to return to the lineup on Thursday, the Washington Post reports.

The power-hitting shortstop will be a key part of the Nationals' offense and defense as they try to lock up the NL East title over the next few weeks, so it's reassuring to see that his back issue isn't serious.