The Texas Rangers have stepped their intensity this offseason and are reportedly pushing hard to sign former MVP Josh Donaldson.
Confirming the interest we’d seen reported by multiple outlets over the past week or so, the Texas Rangers are pursuing Josh Donaldson in free agency this offseason. That pursuit seems to be gaining notable steam though with Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeting Wednesday afternoon that “The Texas Rangers are making an aggressive push to sign free agent Josh Donaldson.”
This is an interesting development because the free agent market, especially at the top end, has been especially slow moving in years past. Nightengale’s tweet doesn’t necessarily imply that anything is imminent but with Texas looking to fill third base for the upcoming season, this is a promising development.
Last season, Donaldson put up an impressive season for the Atlanta Braves hitting .259 with a .900 OPS. He did an excellent job creating a fearsome duo in the Braves lineup with Freddie Freeman. One could hope that Donaldson could help provide some much needed protection in the Rangers order for slugger Joey Gallo. He also was an excellent defender at the hot corner last season finishing near the top of most defensive metrics among third basemen.
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Donaldson’s 4.9 fWAR would have finished atop the Rangers hitters for 2019 and would instantly becoming a top player at the club alongside Joey Gallo, Lance Lynn and Mike Minor. The former MVP will be 34 coming Opening Day next season meaning he isn’t a true long-term option for Texas which could work for the Rangers who have a number of talented third base prospects like Josh Jung, Davis Wendzel and Sherten Apostel, just a couple of years away from the big leagues.
The expectation is that Donaldson will decline the current Qualifying Offer he has on the table from the Braves and sign a multi-year deal either with another club or back with Atlanta. Projections expect Donaldson to ink a three-year deal worth anywhere from $20-25 million per year. It’s a hefty price tag to a player Donaldson’s age but he’s coming off a great season and would instantly upgrade the Texas lineup.