Having remained under the luxury tax threshold for another season, the Los Angeles Dodgers went into the winter with an expectation they would be involved for the top players in free agency. This offseason that group comprised of Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg.
Despite plenty of rumored interest in each of the marquee free agents, the Dodgers struck out within the first three days of the annual Winter Meetings. Strasburg was first to come off the board, re-signing with the Washington Nationals for seven years and $245 million.
Cole was next, landing a record-breaking nine-year, $324 million deal with the New York Yankees. That left Rendon, but the Dodgers’ rumored pessimism became a reality as he agreed to a seven-year, $245 million contract with the L.A. Angels.
With Rendon no longer an option, the Dodgers and other clubs seeking a third baseman have turned their attention to Josh Donaldson, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com:
With Rendon headed to the Angels, all eyes now turn to Josh Donaldson. The Rangers, Nationals, Braves, Twins and Dodgers all remain in the mix for the 2015 AL MVP, per sources.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) December 12, 2019
The Dodgers’ interest in Donaldson first surfaced in November and it was followed by a report that suggested it was legitimate rather than cursory.
Donaldson bounced back from appearing in just 52 games last year to hit .259/.379/.521 with 37 home runs and 94 RBI for the Atlanta Braves this past season. He led NL third basemen with 15 Defensive Runs Saved and was voted the Players Choice Awards National League Comeback Player of the Year.
If the Dodgers are to sign the 33-year-old, they would forfeit a draft pick due to Donaldson rejecting the qualifying offer from the Braves.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said it was fair to classify the team’s approach in free agency this year as more aggressive than prior winters, but that has yet to play out in the form of activity.
Up to this point the only addition was the reported signing of Blake Treinen to a one-year contract.
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