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MLB rumors roundup: The market for Ian Desmond

Ian Desmond batted a career low .233 in 156 games for the Nationals in 2015. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Free agency came at an inopportune time for Ian Desmond, who hit the open market following the worst season of his career.

Desmond posted a meager .233/.290/.384 slash line for the Washington Nationals in 2015 and likely will settle for a deal far short of the seven-year, $107 contract he reportedly rejected from Washington prior to the 2014 campaign.

But Desmond has hit 88 homers over the past four years and owns a career .736 OPS, so he will not walk away empty-handed. With the holidays over, the market might finally be taking shape.

Jon Morosi of FoxSports.com reported over the weekend that the San Diego Padres are having “ongoing discussions” with Desmond, although no deal is close. The Padres’ incumbent shortstop, Alexi Amarista, had a meager OPS of .544.

While San Diego remains the most logical fit, another option could be the White Sox, who have the relatively untested Tyler Saladino atop the depth chart. There was some talk last week that the White Sox have not closed the door on bringing back Alexei Ramirez.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com suggests Colorado as a possible fit for Desmond given the uncertain status of Jose Reyes, who could be disciplined following a domestic violence investigation.

It has been a quiet market for other shortstops as well. The only notable deal went to Asdrubal Cabrera, who landed a two-year, $18.5 million deal with the Mets. Veterans Jimmy Rollins and Clint Barmes also are on the market.

Our rumors roundup continues with some speculation on the free-agent pitching market:

  • Yovani Gallardo: The three-year, $48 million deal Scott Kazmir received from the Los Angeles Dodgers last week could serve as a benchmark for Gallardo, who had a career-best 3.42 ERA last season for the Rangers. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe lists the Orioles, Royals and possibly the Cardinals as suitors for the right-hander. Heyman reports the Blue Jays recently kicked the tires on Gallardo, who joins Wei-Yin Chen as the best free-agent starters left on the market.

  • Bronson Arroyo: The Cincinnati Reds could be interested in a reunion with Arroyo if the right-hander has successfully recovered from Tommy John surgery in 2014, tweets Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. Arroyo was with the Reds from 2006-13 and last pitched in 2014 for the Diamondbacks. The 38-year-old Arroyo would provide a veteran presence to a Reds rotation that started rookies 110 times last season, including each of the final 64 contests.

  • Chicago White Sox: General manager Rick Hahn will be looking to add a corner outfielder to replace Avisail Garcia, who has been a disappointment, reports MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince. The White Sox have been linked to prominent free agents Yoenis Cespedes and Alex Gordon but appear reluctant to go beyond a three-year deal.

  • Khris Davis: According to Morosi, the Brewers see the power-hitting Davis as one of the prime trade chips in their rebuilding process. The glut of free-agent outfielders makes a deal less likely right now, but Davis could be a prime candidate at the July 31 deadline.

  • Atlanta Braves: As part of their massive overhaul, the Braves are trying to trade either Nick Swisher or Michael Bourn and are open to eating a “significant portion” of remaining salary, reports MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. Both Swisher and Bourn have been reduced to backup options behind the starting outfield of Hector Olivera, Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis.

  • Dallas Keuchel: The agent for the AL Cy Young Award winner, Darek Braunecker, is not aggressively seeking a multiyear contract for the time being. "At this point, we have not engaged the club in any sort of long-term discussions,” Braunecker told MLB Network Radio. Keuchel is eligible for arbitration this winter and is projected to land a deal worth about $6 million.