The Phillies are listed among the favorites to land third baseman Josh Donaldson in free agency. In fact, they have the second-best odds among all teams.
If you somehow haven’t heard, the 2018-19 free agency class is pretty loaded. Some of the best players in the game will be on the open market, and the Phillies are expected to be in the market for at least one, if not more of them.
One of the top free agents will be current Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson. The three-time All-Star and 2015 AL MVP will be a free agent for the first time in his career.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports published an article listing the favorites to sign Donaldson in the upcoming free agency period. According to Heyman, Philadelphia has the second-best odds to land the third baseman:
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"It seems like this is Maikel Franco’s last chance with the Phillies, who are known to like Machado very much. The Phillies were made here as the favorite for Machado based on current Phillies’ executives close relationship with the Orioles superstar from their days together in Baltimore. But there’s certainly no guarantee they land Machado, and Donaldson makes a nice fallback option. They also aren’t above signing 30-plus players, as we saw with Carlos Santana and Jake Arrieta, either.Odds: 7:1The Cardinals are the only team with better odds to sign Donaldson as they have a closer connection to him than Manny Machado. Both St. Louis and Philadelphia are potentially going to be in the market for a third baseman. The Braves, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rangers, and White Sox are all also in the mix for Donaldson according to Heyman.As Heyman writes, the Phils are more likely to sign Machado than Donaldson. However, if the Cardinals or another team winds up signing Machado, Donaldson would certainly be an apt consolation prize.More from That Balls Outta HerePhiladelphia Phillies: Most impactful transactions in 2022How will Rob Thomson manage the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen in 2023?How Phillies’ Ranger Suárez is set to build on 2022 postseason dominanceWhat can Philadelphia Phillies expect from Bryson Stott in 2023?3 Reasons to get excited for Phillies’ Craig Kimbrel signingAs mentioned previously, Donaldson won the AL MVP award in 2015 at age 29. He was worth 8.5 wins above replacement that season, posting a .297/.371/.568 line with 41 home runs and a league-leading 123 runs batted in. He also led the league with 122 runs scored, 352 total bases, and 10 sacrifice flies.Last year, Donaldson had his season shortened by injury, playing 113 games. He still had a strong season though, posting a .944 OPS with 33 home runs and 78 RBI. He was still their second-most valuable player with 4.8 wins above replacement.Donaldson was off to a meager start by his standards this season, hitting just .239.However, he still had three home runs and nine RBI through his first 12 games this year. He landed on the disabled list earlier this month with shoulder inflammation, but he is nearing a return.Next: Scott Kingery has recent hitting woesDonaldson will certainly be looking for a huge contract this offseason. He got $23 million this year in his final season of arbitration. The length of the contract will likely be a bigger hurdle than the money as he will turn 33 in December. If Donaldson signed a shorter deal, like Santana and Arrieta did last offseason, the Phillies would likely be on board. It seems like this is Maikel Franco’s last chance with the Phillies, who are known to like Machado very much. The Phillies were made here as the favorite for Machado based on current Phillies’ executives close relationship with the Orioles superstar from their days together in Baltimore. But there’s certainly no guarantee they land Machado, and Donaldson makes a nice fallback option. They also aren’t above signing 30-plus players, as we saw with Carlos Santana and Jake Arrieta, either.Odds: 7:1"