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Nationals rumors: 'Highly unlikely' Ian Desmond re-signs with Washington

Desmond is expected to consider other options this winter.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of September, Ian Desmond thanked Nationals fans on Twitter and spoke about beginning a new chapter. Desmond is an impending free agent and according to Nats Insider's Chris Hughes, it remains "highly unlikely" the Desmond will re-sign with Washington.

Although Desmond was hoping to have a productive year and then head into the off-season with the chance of receiving a large contract, he struggled throughout the course of 2015. Over 156 games, Desmond posted a .233/.290/.384 batting line to complement 19 home runs and 62 RBIs.

In addition to not producing consistently, Desmond also struggled defensively. He committed eight errors over the club's first 12 contests.

Though he struggled in the first half, Desmond did not have as much difficulty after the All-Star break. He hit .262 to complement 12 home runs in the second half and batted .314 in August. His 19 home runs ranked third among active shortstops.

While the Nationals might have initially expressed interest in retaining Desmond, they do have infield depth. Trea Turner continues to work his way through the organization's minor league system and the Nationals already have signed Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman to extensive deals.

Desmond, 30, has spent his entire career with the Nationals. Turner is expected to replace him at shortstop after batting .314 over 48 games in Triple-A in 2015.

Asdrubal Cabrera, Jimmy Rollins and Stephen Drew are among the free agent shortstops that will be available this winter. For younger clubs seeking offensive production and a leader in the clubhouse, Dedmond will likely be attractive option.