With MLB baseball free agent names flying off the market, where will Ian Desmond land in 2016 and beyond?

By Patrick Brewer

With free agent names flying off the market, we now know the offseason is officially in full swing.

The Winter Meetings have now concluded and almost every team looks at least a little bit different than they did at the beginning of the week. While a lot of action has gone down this week, and really over the last month for that matter, there are still quite a few big name free agents that have yet to find homes for next season.

One of the most intriguing of all those options is shortstop Ian Desmond.

Coming off one of the worst years of his career, a year filled with injury and disappointing performance, Desmond will be looking for a fresh start with a new team.

Several teams, including the Angels and Mets to name a few, have found creative ways to fill their shortstop/infield needs, which has left Desmond with an unclear market.

Despite those teams no longer being in the market for a player like Desmond, there still should be a number of teams interested in the former National.

With the recent news of some teams considering him as a potential outfielder, the shortstop’s market has gotten a whole lot more interesting.

This introduces an interesting wrinkle to Desmond’s free agent market, and may increase the overall interest teams have in signing him.

Desmond’s value is largely tied to his ability to play a strong defensive shortstop, given his lack of production offensively last year. So, it is unclear how much of a benefit Desmond will be to any team as an outfielder.

Outfielders generally have higher offensive standards, so a full time switch to the outfield would likely diminish Desmond’s value further.

What is more likely is Desmond being used as a shortstop most of the time, with appearances at other positions, specifically third base and second base. Also, he may find playing time in the outfield.

While the Mets seemed to be the most apparent fit for Desmond, their signing of Asdrubal Cabrera has likely taken them out of the running.

READ MORE: Do The Mets Really Need Asdrubal Cabrera?

With the Mets no longer in the market for a shortstop, there is some uncertainty as to which teams will emerge as the front runners. While the Twins and White Sox make at least some sense on paper, at this point the most logical fit is the San Diego Padres.

The Padres are coming off an abysmal year all around, a year that was even worse for them at shortstop.

San Diego played the whole season with Alexi Amarista and Clint Barmes, a disastrous combination, and are clearly looking for an upgrade going forward into 2016.

Coming off a down year, Desmond represents a sort of buy-low option if his price does not get driven up by increased competition in the marketplace. The Padres have already made quite a few moves this offseason to shed payroll, such as the trades of Yonder Alonso, Craig Kimbrel, Joaquin Benoit, and Jedd Gyorko, and may have the necessary funds to sign Desmond long term.

With the Winter Meetings just coming to close, there is still a lot of uncertainty for several players on the free agent market.

While it is unclear what position Desmond will play long term, he is still being marketed as a shortstop for the immediate future. Despite a muddled free agent market, the Padres still appear to be the favorites to sign Desmond to a long term deal.

With that being said, it could still be some time until the market for Desmond fully develops, and until he signs his next contract.

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Patrick is a recent graduate of the University of California San Diego where he studied Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations. He is also a lifelong baseball fan and has dreams of one day watching a Major League game in every stadium.