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Ian Desmond turns down qualifying offer from Nationals

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The Nationals' shortstop of the last six seasons has rejected a qualifying offer.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

After an up-and-down season, Ian Desmond has rejected the qualifying offer that was extended to him by the Nationals. Desmond experienced a dreadful first half in 2015. He had difficulties in the field and hit just .211/.255/.334 with seven home runs. But he bounced back with a solid second half that brought his total line for the season to .233/.290/.384—still well below his career line of .264/.312/.424.

The Mets were linked to Desmond last offseason, when they reportedly turned down a deal that would have brought the shortstop to Queens. The potential trade would have involved the Mets, Nationals, and Rays. Having spent the 2015 season with Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada splitting time at short, the Mets could be interested in Desmond, who already has drawn interest from the Padres.

If the Mets were to sign Desmond before the 2016 season, they would sacrifice their highest-available pick. Right now, that's the 24th overall pick in the first round of June's amateur draft.

In addition to Desmond's decision, starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann declined his qualifying offer from the Nationals after a season in which he recorded a 3.66 ERA over 201.2 innings.