Josh Donaldson has been one of the league’s premier players for quite some time and his free agency appears to be coming down to the wire. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Dodgers remain in the mix to sign him, despite being a relative longshot.
The 34-year-old third baseman is coming off an excellent bounce-back campaign with the Atlanta Braves. Across 155 games played, he slashed .259/.379/.521 with 37 home runs, a 132 wRC+, and 4.9 WAR. He figures to be able to capitalize on his stellar 2019 campaign, despite his age.
Donaldson has won an MVP in his career and holds a lifetime .878 on-base plus slugging percentage and consistently ranks amongst the league’s best defensive players at the hot corner.
From late last night: Quick-hitting notes: Donaldson, Lindor, Marte, Ryu. https://t.co/jgonbFDT29
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 20, 2019
While Donaldson remains a possibility, the club is still looking at viable options in Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor — who are reportedly in the endgame when it comes to trade conversations — and Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts. Donaldson appears to be the most unlikely scenario of the three when taking into account that most of the smoke in the media has been with Lindor and Betts.
Executives are expecting Donaldson decision soon. Feels like mostly an NL East battle. Belief is Nats are in big — likely at 4 years — but JD is expected to give Braves a last chance. Twins, Rangers, Dodgers have been linked but seem like longer shots (LA already has a great 3B)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 19, 2019
The primary holdup in Donaldson’s free agency was initially the presence of Anthony Rendon in the market, but now it appears to be nearing the finish line. Donaldson figures to be receiving an excellent pay day in the ballpark of a four-year, $100 million deal. While this deal would be a risky proposition for most 34-year-old players, Donaldson’s odds at providing a return on the investment are quite high. If he can demonstrate the same ability, consistency, and health over that span, he is one of the best at the position for a reasonable price.
Amongst the teams interested in Donaldson — besides the Dodgers — are the incumbent Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, and Texas Rangers. The teams that missed out on the Anthony Rendon sweepstakes are going to certain lengths to try and secure a star third baseman this offseason. Another team that has entered into the sweepstakes is the Minnesota Twins.