Dodgers Are Pursuing Josh Donaldson, Reportedly

(USA TODAY Sports photo)

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.

Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Dodgers are among a number of teams pursuing free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson.

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 BarretoKendall GravemanBrett 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.

11 thoughts on “Dodgers Are Pursuing Josh Donaldson, Reportedly

  1. Donaldson. Can he pitch?

    Ok, I see everywhere people talking about “right handed bat”. Personally I prefer guys who can just hit. And we have them. But maybe if we get this right handed bat we can lead the league in scoring and have a better than a .577 winning % against LHP. For the record, Donaldson has reverse splits vs LH pitchers. If that’s the choice, ok, he’s very good and should have a couple years left. What are you going to do with Lux?

    1. Muncy/Lux – one plays second, one plays left field. Up to them to decide who’s the better outfielder vs. who does a better job at second.
      Infield (for example) – Turner, Lux, Seager, Donaldson
      Outfield – Muncy, Bellinger, Verdugo (Pollock is the 4th outfielder and Joc is traded)

      1. I want both Lux and Muncy in the lineup at the same time. I DO NOT want Lux to be bred into a platoon player.

    1. It’s what we do – mix the affordable controllable home grown WAR with usta was’ veteran talent – the goal of course is getting to the playoffs. It’s worked quite well so far. Donaldson projects over 4 WAR for ‘20. That’ll work – if indeed he stays on the field. You never know with those guys over 30. Donaldson and Pollock both healthy looks pretty not too bad with the rest of our lineup. Obviously if either or both end up on the IL? Well, who among us would really be surprised?

  2. Ahh..gotta love the hot stove season. Dreams and hopes, rumors and innuendo. Everyone talking out of the side of their mouth, especially the powers that be. By the way, and innuendo is an Italian suppository I am told.

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