The start of the regular season is an informal, good-faith deadline for contract extensions. Two marquee players received enormous deals – Justin Verlander’s eight-year, $180-million extension with Detroit and Buster Posey’s nine-year, $167-million deal with San Francisco. But news of a key-but-lesser-known player’s extension could play a larger role in Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond’s contract future. According to, Texas’s Elvis Andrus agreed to an eight-year, $120-milion extension two years away from free agency. Tacked onto his existing two-year deal, the Rangers’s commitment to Andrus is $131 million over 10 years. Andrus, a two-time all-star who is 24 years old and represented by Scott Boras, is known for his stellar fielding and boasts a career.694 OPS in four seasons. Elite shortstops, ones capable with the glove and bat, are hard extremely hard to come by, and the Rangers, despite possessing the top prospect in baseball, shortstop Jurickson Profar, wanted to lock up Andrus. While Andrus may have the edge defensively and is three years younger, Desmond has shown more power with his bat. Any talks between Desmond and the Nationals, however, could now be colored with Andrus’s new deal.