With Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg having made their respective free agency decisions, the focus now shifts to the next tier of available players, which includes the likes of Madison Bumgarner, Josh Donaldson and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Like they were with the three headliners, the Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly have varying levels of interest in Bumgarner, Donaldson and Ryu. After Cole agreed to a record-breaking contract with the New York Yankees, the Dodgers were said to have put their focus on Bumgarner.
Similarly, in the wake of Rendon joining the L.A. Angels, the Dodgers were among the teams mentioned in the pursuit of Donaldson. The 34-year-old now resides as the best position player on the open market.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Donaldson prefers to re-sign with the Atlanta Braves but ultimately will prioritize finding the most lucrative contract:
All things being equal, Donaldson’s preference is to return to the Braves, according to sources with knowledge of his thinking. But in free agency, all things are not necessarily equal. This contract almost certainly will be Donaldson’s last big deal, and he is seeking the largest possible guarantee, sources say.
With no shortage of interest in the third baseman, Donaldson could be in line to receive a salary of at least $25 million per year:
Donaldson figures to come first, and the best guess is that he will get at least $25 million per season. The biggest question is whether he will sign for three or four years.
After appearing in a mere 52 games during time spent with the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians last season, Donaldson signed a one-year, $23 million contract in November 2018. The gamble to re-establish his value paid off as Donaldson batted .259/.379/.521 with 33 doubles, 37 home runs and 94 RBI.
He additionally finished second among third baseman in defensive runs saved and was voted the Players Choice Awards National League Comeback Player of the Year.
In addition to the Braves and Dodgers, the Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals are said to have interest in Donaldson. Signing him would require forfeiting a draft pick as he declined the qualifying offer from the Braves.
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