The Dodgers continue to look at every way to upgrade their team and the latest report has them showing interest in a former MVP.
Yes, LA is among the teams interested in signing free-agent third baseman Josh Donaldson, according to Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times.
From our @jorgecastillo: The #Dodgers' preference for shorter-term deals has led them to pursue a free-agent third baseman — but not Anthony Rendon, at least not yet: https://t.co/4CtYKULTw7
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) November 13, 2019
The key line from Castillo comes here:
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.
Donaldson, 34, is coming off a strong season with the Atlanta Braves. In 155 games, he hit .259/.379/.521 with 37 home runs, a 132 wRC+ and 4.9 WAR. It was a rebound season for Donaldson as he only played 51 games in 2018.
He was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 2015 after hitting .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers and a 154 wRC+ in 158 games. He holds a career .273/.369/.509 line with 219 home runs and a 139 wRC+ in 1038 games.
This is the third big-name free agent the Dodgers have been connected to this off-season, joining Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon. Additionally, the team seems to be in on the trade market as well, with rumors linking LA and Cleveland on a Francisco Lindor deal.
Donaldson will likely command a two or three year deal with an average annual value around $25 million. He would be a pretty significant boost to the offense without a long term commitment, which is probably why the Dodgers are showing interest.
One thing to note is that Donaldson was extended a qualifying offer from the Braves, so he is attached to draft pick compensation. Nevertheless, if signed, he would probably take over at third base, with Justin Turner moving to first and Max Muncy playing second.
Don’t expect him to sign until after Rendon has made his decision. Donaldson will likely be the backup plan for all the teams who miss out on Rendon.