Former Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond has decided to opt-out of the 2021 baseball season. He did the same for the 2020 baseball season. While there were several players to opt-out last year, most have returned in some fashion this year. Desmond may choose to opt-in during the season, though for now he is sitting out.
In a message posted to his Instagram page, Desmond spoke to a desire to be with his family during this time, rather than play baseball under the current situation. Desmond walked away from $15M last season and leaves another $8M on the table this year. However, for a player who has made upwards of $70M in his career, he has the financial flexibility to put family first.
Ian Desmond has opted out of the 2021 season. With ten years of service time already accrued, he might as well call it a career.
With his current contract expiring at the conclusion of this season, and the Colorado Rockies most likely to decline his team option next year, Desmond will hit free agency for the third time in his career. He’ll be 36 years old when that time comes and potentially coming off back-to-back years of not playing real baseball.
Desmond has had a nice career from a statistical standpoint. The two-time All-Star has three Silver Slugger Awards to his name and nearly 1500 hits. While he has been to the playoffs five different seasons (with three different teams), he has only gotten out of the first round once. If he is chasing the coveted World Series ring, he may be back. If that doesn’t matter to him, Desmond should call it a career.
He has accrued just over ten years of service time, which means he is fully vested in Major League Baseball’s pension plan.
Desmond will be revered for his time playing for the Washington Nationals. The shortstop on the first division winning team in the District spent seven years on the left side of the infield. His time in Colorado may not have gone like he wanted, for his career he still has five 20/20 seasons on his resume. Desmond has nothing more to prove on a baseball diamond.
Props for putting family first and if this is it Ian, thanks for all the memories.