One of the biggest risk-reward picks heading into 2016, Ian Desmond delivered for the bold, reviving his power-speed combination while posting his highest batting average since 2012. His career-high .350 BABIP may seem like an outlier, but his career .326 clip on balls in play and another year with a high groundball rate say it wasn't. Desmond's landing spot in free agency was ideal, too, as his floor has stabilized with the move to Colorado while his ceiling is higher than it's ever been. Unfortunately, he's lost shortstop eligibility in most formats and it's uncertain if he'll ever regain it as the Rockies are planning to play him primarily at first base. Regardless, there's still a ton to like here from a fantasy perspective -- a high-average, 20-20 season would easily put him among the top 100 earners by season's end.
Desmond (hand) is expected to return in late April, KOA news radio's Steffan Tubbs reports. He will have surgery Wednesday to insert a metal plate in his left wrist to compensate for the fracture he sustained over the weekend. This is a shorter timetable than most were expecting, but it is also likely the most optimistic timetable, and such an injury could negatively affect his offensive production when he returns. In the meantime, Mark Reynolds, Stephen Cardullo and Jordan Patterson will compete to break camp in a role at first base while Desmond is on the mend.
Desmond will undergo surgery Wednesday to repair the second metacarpal in his left hand, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports. Desmond fractured his left hand when he was hit by a pitch during Sunday's spring training game. It's unclear how long he will be sidelined with the injury, but in the meantime, Gerardo Parra and Mark Reynolds should see more reps at first base. More should be known about his timetable after he undergoes the procedure, so it will be something to monitor in the coming days.
Desmond was diagnosed with a fracture in his left hand, Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports. The news of Desmond's injury has to be very disappointing for the Rockies considering that he was slated be their Opening Day starting first baseman. It is still yet to be seen how long the hand fracture will keep him out, but it should mean that Gerardo Parra will get plenty of opportunities at first base in the meantime. Nonetheless, the Rockies remain heavily invested in Desmond, who signed a five-year $70 million contract with the team this past offseason.
Desmond agreed to a five-year, $70 million contract with the Rockies on Wednesday, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports. There could be another shoe or two to drop, as it is unclear where Desmond will see everyday at-bats on this current Rockies roster, however, he will certainly be in the lineup every day, one way or another. Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon have long been rumored as potential trade candidates, which would be one way to open up a spot for Desmond. Another option would be finally transitioning Gonzalez to first base, which would also open up a spot in the outfield. Rosenthal also speculates that Desmond will play some first base this season, although that would seem to be a waste of his defensive versatility. This is obviously an excellent development for Desmond's fantasy value, as Coors Field is notorious for boosting player's batting averages, and that is the one aspect of Desmond's game that has been unreliable in recent seasons. The one negative is that Desmond now appears unlikely to move back to shortstop anytime soon, with Trevor Story entrenched there in Colorado. This signing means the Rockies will forfeit the No. 11 pick in next year's draft, which is a steep price to pay. The deal comes with a $13 million club option for a sixth year.
Desmond rejected the Rangers' one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer Monday, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. It wasn't completely clear whether or not Desmond would accept the qualifying offer at first, but given his strong 2016 campaign in which he hit .285 and swatted 22 home runs, he decided to test the free agent market. The 31-year-old boasts the ability to play both infield and outfield, although some suitors may be turned off by the need to give up a draft pick in order to sign a deal with him.