Desmond had tears in his eyes and had a tough time putting the words together as he was trying to say goodbye.
"When I got drafted by the Expos, they didn't know where the team would be," Desmond said. "But they couldn't have found a better home. ... I'm extremely proud to say that I was a Washington National."
As the tears were flowing, Desmond was asked if he wanted to stay with the Nationals.
"At the particular moment, there are a lot of things to be discussed," he said. "This organization has been nothing but good to me. We have come a long way, not only personally, but as an organization."
General manager Mike Rizzo has left the door open as far as bringing Desmond back to the team in 2016.
"Ian Desmond is the rock of the organization," Rizzo said. "When I became the GM, he became the everyday shortstop and blossomed into one of the best players in all of baseball."
During his 12 years in the organization, Desmond said that he was proud to see Bryce Harper grow as a player.
"It was fun to play a part in his career," Desmond said.
How does Harper feel about the possibility of losing Desmond as a teammate?
"I'm going to miss him if he doesn't come back," Harper said. "He is family to me. He is definitely one of my brothers. I'm going to miss him all around -- the way he fights out there, the way he plays, the way he goes about it. He is just a good person through and through. He is a great ambassador for the Washington Nationals. If we don't get him back, it happens. It's part of the game. I wish him all the best of luck. He is going to have a great rest of his career. He is one of the best shortstops in the game. All the best to him."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.