Texas Rangers: Which Free Agent Third Baseman is the Best Fit?

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 30: Anthony Rendon #6 of the Washington Nationals waits on deck against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in Game Seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 30: Anthony Rendon #6 of the Washington Nationals waits on deck against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in Game Seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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ATLANTA, GEORGIA – OCTOBER 04: Josh Donaldson #20 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after an RBI single off Jack Flaherty #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning in game two of the National League Division Series at SunTrust Park on October 04, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – OCTOBER 04: Josh Donaldson #20 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after an RBI single off Jack Flaherty #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning in game two of the National League Division Series at SunTrust Park on October 04, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Josh Donaldson

While Donaldson wasn’t an MVP finalist this year, he has won the award in the past. After signing a one-year deal with the Braves, Donaldson hits the free agent market again and this time with increased value. The 34-year old hit .259 with a .900 OPS and 37 homers in Atlanta last year. His 4.9 fWAR demonstrates his value and while he isn’t quite Anthony Rendon level, he’s not a bargain option either.

Donaldson perhaps fits into the Rangers timeline better than Rendon and could help them avoid giving out a massive six or seven year contract which they loathe. At 34, Donaldson is projected to get a three or four year deal worth between $22-23 million per year. Not cheap, but cheaper than Rendon and he’d be wrapping up his deal about the time Josh Jung is ready to take his place at third base.

Donaldson creates fewer personnel issues for Texas and could save some money for other free agents or a Joey Gallo extension. Donaldson feels like the most likely, but at 34, he’s no longer on the upswing in his career.

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