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Nationals Rumors: Nats Shopping Ian Desmond?

We've gotten a couple of conflicting reports on the status of Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond this morning. Earlier today, Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan tweeted that Washington is actively shopping Desmond as we enter the week before the trade deadline, but Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post countered by tweeting that he's heard the exact opposite.

Yesterday, Kilgore reported that some teams called about Desmond but heard that he's considered a core part of Washington's team, even though the shortstop is hitting just .228/.276/.313 in 378 plate appearances so far this season. He's developed into a solid defensive shortstop, though, and could be one of the better players at the position soon if he can get it together with his bat. He's shown little progress from last season, when he hit .269/.308/.392 in 154 games as a rookie.

If the Nationals deal Desmond, it would presumably allow the team to return second baseman Danny Espinosa to his original position. Espinosa, a long-time shortstop before this season, was generally regarded as an above-average defender there before the position move. It would also free up second base for prospect Steve Lombardozzi, a 22-year-old infielder that's been killing the ball in the upper minors since the middle of last season.