It’s a good day for the Phillies as their division rivals lose in free agency
Amid baseball’s cheating scandal ending the careers of two great young managers in Alex Cora and former Phillie A.J. Hinch, the Philadelphia Phillies are coming out on top when their division rivals come up short in the free agent sweepstakes.
Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that Josh Donaldson will be signing with the Minnesota Twins for four years and $92 million, one of the largest contracts ever given to a player of Donaldson’s age.
Both the Atlanta Braves, for whom Donaldson played last year, and Washington Nationals were finalists for the 34-year-old third baseman.
Washington already lost arguably the best third baseman in baseball when Anthony Rendon went to the Los Angeles Angels, and the Braves are now without the guy who started opening day at the hot corner.
The Nationals appears to be preparing for this move by signing Starlin Castro and former Phillie Asdrubal Cabrera this offseason. They could play top infield prospect Carter Kieboom at third after he played all 10 of his big league games at shortstop last season.
Atlanta has Johan Camargo, who is two seasons removed from hitting .299 in 82 games as a rookie. Over the last two seasons, however, he’s hit just .259 and last year his batting average dropped to .233 while playing nearly every position on the field.
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On the free agent market there’s not that much, if anything, left for either team to invest in. Matt Duffy is the most notable option after some very successful seasons in San Francisco and Tampa Bay.
There’s also the possibility of a trade involving Nolan Arenado or Kris Bryant, two players who will cost both teams a lot in terms of prospects and dollars.
Both Washington and Atlanta might be better suited to start the season with their young players and work them out before exploring potential trades during the season.
The Phillies really dodged a bullet by seeing Donaldson leave not just the division, but the National League completely.