With the recent Dexter Fowler return to Chicago, the idea of Ian Desmond returning has gotten more interest. I don't think the Nats will re-sign Ian. I think they probably have a budget that doesn't allow it. I think they have a plan in place for the rise of Trea Turner that they like. I think they are petty when guys decline their low, but within market value, deals. I think that they have some trepidation on whether the production that Ian would have would outpace Espinosa/Drew (I don't share this). I also think Ian probably has a multi-year deal waiting for him after the draft.
In short I'd be very surprised if he's came back.
Now would I re-sign Ian? Assuming it was a one-year deal and not expensive? Probably for the reason I noted. I think there is a good chance that he outperforms Espy/Drew. But it's not a slam dunk for me either and I don't even have all those other reasons to think about.
For me the question is about leadership. Not that Ian wasn't a good clubhouse leader, just that he was one at all. From the outside - this should have been Zimm's team, but he doesn't want it or have that in him. Other Nats who have been here a while ZNN, Stras, Ramos, Gio, Espy, they either didn't want it or play at a level that makes it hard for them to claim it. Werth seemingly wants it but has spent his time here flippantly breaking laws, undermining managers, and telling everyone how great he is, all while injuries force him into bi-polar episodes of play. Ian almost was a leader by default. Someone gets the mantle placed on him. But Ian didn't seem a forceful personality and didn't carry the team on the field. It was Ian's team but in the broad sense. It was a collection of good players who played well and, you know, maybe things work out for them in the end.
But now there is someone on the team who is a forceful personality and can carry the team. There is someone who seems to step up his game when it's important (and seeming to do this is the most important part - it's about perception). This should be Bryce Harper's team. He should lead the Nats in the clubhouse. The Nats should live and die with him.
By bringing Ian back you set the old ways back in place. Quiet, heads down, get it done and move forward. That's not a terrible thing, but when it hasn't quite produced results and you have a reasonable alternative... why go back?
I don't know. I'm not a player in the clubhouse. I'm not even a media guy who is there everyday and can take the temperature of the team. But from the outside looking in I say put a C on the Bryce's chest and run with that.