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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL WINTER MEETINGS SIGNINGS: IAN DESMOND TAKES AIM AT COORS FIELD

Well that was a bit of a surprise.  It was not the Texas Rangers or St. Louis Cardinals but the Colorado Rockies who seemingly came out of nowhere on Wednesday and swiped free agent outfielder Ian Desmond with a five-year deal worth $70 million.  Desmond finally got his big payday after his disastrous decision not to accept an extension from the Washington Nationals prior to 2015 and then saw everything go up in smoke when he put forth a horrific year both offensively and defensively.  Having hit just .233 with 19 home runs and 13 steals (ending a three-year run of 20/20 production), Desmond was forced to settle for a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers for 2016 and he needed to move from shortstop to the outfield to make it happen.  What came next was one of the better comeback seasons of the last few years as Desmond took full advantage of the offensive have that is Texas and went right back to his old 20/20 ways by hitting 22 home runs, stealing 21 bases, and hitting .285.  The payday from the Rockies came next and so now the hype machine gets underway given the fact Desmond moves into the holy grail of offensive ballparks in Coors Field.  Considering that Desmond was already a 20/20 man for three years in spacious Washington, it is almost a given he will reach that standard yet again in 2017 and could even approach 30 home runs given the Coors Field effects.  The speed is still potent enough despite the fact Desmond is getting a bit older at 31 but 20 steals seems safe for another season.  What really should improve is the batting average as Desmond has a real shot to reach .290 due again to the ballpark boost and that will make him even more valuable then he already is.  While Desmond no longer carries shortstop eligibility, he will add first base duties to his outfield tag as the Rockies plan on having him play there.  Even at first base, Desmond is a starting fantasy baseball player given the utter dearth of steals from the position and 20/20 from a guy at that spot is very rare indeed.  No matter how you slice it, Ian Desmond has late second round value for 2017 fantasy baseball but most can get him in the third. Reach if you must do so.


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