Going into this offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to be one of the more active teams on the free-agent and trade markets.
The Dodgers stayed below the luxury tax threshold each of the last two years, and the result has been back-to-back division championships as a part of a franchise-record run of seventh straight, but zero World Series Championships.
Even if the Dodgers stay below the threshold for a third straight year, they still have some money to spend and are believed to have interest in acquiring a right-handed bat.
The most obvious option on the free-agent market is Anthony Rendon, who proved his worth in helping the Washington Nationals eliminate the Dodgers in the 2019 National League Division Series en route to winning it all.
While the Dodgers are expected to pursue Rendon, he may ultimately be a bit out of their price range. If that is the case then one alternative the Dodgers are considering is Josh Donaldson, per Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
One option the Dodgers are considering is signing free-agent third baseman Josh Donaldson, according to people with knowledge of the team’s thinking. MLB.com has reported that the Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves are also pursuing Donaldson, the 2015 American League most valuable player and three-time All-Star.
As mentioned, Donaldson is a former MVP of the American League when he was with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015. The three-time All-Star had an injury-plagued 2018 season, which forced him to sign a one-year ‘prove it’ deal with the Atlanta Braves last winter.
The 33-year-old was looking to re-establish his value on the free-agent market, and he was able to do just that by having a bounce-back season in Atlanta. In 155 games, Donaldson slashed .259/.379/.521 with 37 home runs, 96 runs scored and 94 RBI, helping them win the NL East.
If Rendon is ultimately looking for a long-term contract, then Donaldson is the next best option for the Dodgers should they be looking for a third baseman. Justin Turner is believed to be willing to move to the right side of the infield in the final year of his contract should the Dodgers sign someone of Rendon or Donaldson’s caliber.
What also makes Donaldson so attractive to the Dodgers is that he is believed to be seeking a shorter-term contract, which is what president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has preferred in the past. Donaldson was given a qualifying offer by the Braves, however, so the Dodgers would have to sacrifice a draft pick to sign him.