The Phillies are reportedly among the teams interested in free-agent third baseman Josh Donaldson, a former American League MVP Award winner.
Before he signed a one-year, $23 million contract with the Atlanta Braves last offseason, three-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and 2015 American League Most Valuable Player, third baseman Josh Donaldson, reportedly drew interest from the Phillies.
Fast-forward one year later, and the Phillies, again, have rumored interest. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they and the Texas Rangers are “among the teams that have interest” in the nine-year veteran.
Donaldson, 33, had a career resurgence with the Braves in 2019. After producing just eight home runs and 23 RBI in 52 games the season prior, he slugged 37 home runs and 94 RBI spanning 155 games with the Braves. While logging only three hits spanning 22 plate appearances in the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals, Donaldson did generate a double, home run, and three RBI in the series.
Now, the Phillies are looking to potentially sign Donaldson as a stop-gap until rising prospect Alec Bohm is major-league ready, assuming he remains at the position.
In addition to the Braves, Donaldson has played for three other teams in the majors, most notably the Toronto Blue Jays from 2015 to 2018. He began his career with the Oakland Athletics (2010, 2012-14), and also played 16 games for the Cleveland Indians to finish out the 2018 season, not including his three appearances in the 2018 ALDS against the Houston Astros.
The Pensacola, Florida, native has dealt with injuries in recent years, playing just 52 games in 2018 and 113 the year before that.
The Phillies are more than likely moving on from Maikel Franco this offseason after years of waiting for their former top prospect to blossom into the MVP candidate many projected him to be.
By moving on from Franco, the Phillies have several options to replace him. While Bohm is surely among them, he has not yet played above Double-A level. With Scott Kingery potentially playing second base full-time in 2020, barring a decision on Cesar Hernandez, adding a third baseman through free agency appears to be more and more likely.
Donaldson could very well be that addition.