Dodgers: LA shouldn’t pay the asking price for Josh Donaldson
The next big free agent to sign is expected to be Josh Donaldson. The Dodgers remain somewhat interested but should skip out on signing Donaldson.
Third baseman Josh Donaldson is the biggest free-agent bat on the market now that Anthony Rendon is an Angel. The Dodgers have some interest in Donaldson but the Nationals and Braves are considered the front runners to sign him. The bidding for Donaldson is expected to reach four years and over 90 million dollars.
At that asking price, the Dodgers should skip out on signing Josh Donaldson who will play next season at 34 years old. While Josh Donaldson would be an upgrade defensively over Justin Turner at third base, his defense is going to slip over the next few seasons as he continues to age into his late thirties.
While Josh would be an upgrade at third base for 2020, going forward the Dodgers would find themselves in the same exact spot they are this winter with Justin Turner beginning to look shaky on defense at third base. This doesn’t seem like the kind of move the Dodgers would make as they are trying to maintain a younger team and this would put another mid 30’s third baseman on the team.
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Then there is the locker room aspect of signing Donaldson. When Josh Donaldson arrived in Atlanta, Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez had to talk to him about fitting in the locker room as Donaldson reportedly has an interesting personality. While Dave Roberts is excellent at handling at the locker room, there is something to be said for team chemistry and signing Donaldson could shake things up in a bad way.
There is no doubt that Josh Donaldson is an elite hitter but he is entering his mid-30s and there is a chance the last few years of his deal look ugly. If the Dodgers have no issue with shelling out money for an aging slugger they might as well try to bring Justin Turner back for another season or two after 2020 since he will come at a much better price.
The Dodgers could always shift Justin Turner over to first base if they bring him back after 2020 as that is the same thing that is likely to happen with Josh Donaldson. The future of the third base position is up in the air for the Dodgers but they do have Corey Seager who could slide over and they also have Kody Hoese who could be ready in a few seasons.
Max Muncy is also another candidate to play third base in the next couple of seasons although his arm strength isn’t the best. Still, for a season or two, Muncy is capable of plugging the gap at third base if needed. The third base position is definitely a question mark going forward after the 2020 season but signing Josh Donaldson wouldn’t solve that question for long. The Dodgers shouldn’t sign Josh Donaldson for the price he is going to sign for.