Within this segment, we’ll be breaking down the careers of the top Free Agents on the market. How did they get here? What makes them so enticing to teams? Where could they end up? Let’s find out.
Let’s check in on a man of many names — the great Viking Hoskuld, the Bringer of Rain, the one and only, Josh Donaldson.
Donaldson Displays Dominance…
Joshua Adam Donaldson was born in Pensacola, Florida, and played baseball all throughout high school. He then went on to attend Auburn University, and was selected 48th overall in the 2007 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs. Early in his career, Donaldson was admired for his excellent eye and plate discipline, as well as his power stroke. During the 2008 season, the Cubs and Athletics struck a six player deal that included Donaldson, and the then-catcher spent the entirety of the 2009 season in the Athletics Double A system.
The three-time All Star first debuted in 2010, but it was during the 2012 season that his major league career took flight, and he converted to the hot corner full time. Donaldson began as a split time third baseman, but, as his bat began to heat up, he started playing more and more often. In 2013, Donaldson became the Athletics full time third baseman, as well as their prominent bat. In 2014, Donaldson was traded to the Blue Jays for a four-player package, and proceeded to win the AL MVP Award in 2015 He turned in five straight All-Star caliber seasons from 2013-2017, in which hit hit a total of 164 home runs as well as a combined 491 RBI. Donaldson was also consistently praised for his excellent play of third base, as well as his unyielding drive to win. Though he muddled through last year plagued with injury, Donaldson is sure to see a sizable contract this offseason, and very well may be the best deal of this winter.
Who’s Bringing the Rain?
Donaldson’s age and recent struggles will undoubtedly affect the size and value of his nearing contract, however, that does not change the fact that he is due for a payday.
His primary suitors are the Saint Louis Cardinals, who are becoming less and less likely to land Bryce Harper with every passing moment, and are in dire need of an option at third (or first) base. Had Manny Machado been an option at the hot corner, they may have shown more interest in him, but Machado seems set in his choice to play shortstop.
Other teams that should have interest include the the Los Angeles Angels, the Chicago White Sox, and the Philadelphia Phillies, should they miss on their other big Free Agent targets.
Donaldson, if healthy, will prove an excellent addition to any teams’ lineup, and will serve as an major presence in the clubhouse as well. It is entirely possible that he ends up becoming one of the most undervalued Free Agents of his class, and he might play a much larger role in the 2019 season than many spectators suggest.
My Prediction: The Saint Louis Cardinals, 2 years, $36 Million