While the annual GM meetings have been happening in Arizona for several days now, there really haven’t been any significant rumors surrounding the Dodgers until today.
Although the Braves did indeed extend a $17.8 million qualifying offer to the 33-year-old veteran, chances are next to nil that he accepts it. Steve Adams of MLBTR opines that Donaldson might be able to be snagged on a three-year deal, perhaps with a high-end of four years.
The right-handed hitting native of Florida just completed a one-year contract with the Braves where he earned $23 million. Considering his contributions, he was conceivably worth every dollar.
Donaldson played in 155 games for Atlanta last season, slashing .259/.379/.521 with 33 doubles, 37 long balls and 97 RBI. He also walked 100 times. He finished the season with a 6.1 WAR, and his defensive metrics suggest he’s still holding his own at the hot corner, something that many feel that longtime third baseman Justin Turner is not doing.
In 2019, Turner posted a -0.6 dWAR at third base, compared to Donaldson’s 1.7.
Turner has already confirmed to reporters that he’s certainly open to a move to first base, if it means that it makes the club more competitive.
Since the conclusion of the World Series, the Dodgers have been linked to MVP candidate Anthony Rendon, who some feel could command a salary upwards of eight years and $250 million. These are numbers that front office boss Andrew Friedman normally cringes at, but it’s unknown what kind of strategy he’ll take this winter, considering the team’s early exit from last year’s playoffs.
“We just don’t have hard-and-fast rules,” Friedman told Castillo. “We’re open to different avenues and different levers of how to get better. And I can’t sit here right now and tell you what that means because I don’t know.”
During the 2019 regular season, the Nationals reportedly offered Rendon a seven-year pact for somewhere around $210 million—a proposal that he refused.
As far as Donaldson goes, his banner year came in 2015, one year after Oakland traded him to Toronto for Franklin Barreto, Kendall Graveman, Brett Lawrie and Sean Nolin. During that campaign, Donaldson slashed .297/.371/.568 with 41 doubles, 41 homers and 123 RBI, calculating to an 8.5 WAR. For his efforts, he was named as the American League MVP.
Since then, he has held his own both offensively and defensively, aside from his 2018 season when he missed a month with a shoulder injury and almost three months with a severe calf strain. At the time, GMs across baseball believed that wear and tear had gotten the better of Donaldson, opening the door for the Braves to sign him on a one-year deal.
Donaldson is represented by agent Dan Lozano of the MVP Sports Group.