Just less than a week ago, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Dodgers are still hot on the trail of free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson. Remember – Donaldson is off a phenomenal year – one that won him the NL Comeback Player of the Year Award in the National League.
Now, MLB Network has invited Rosenthal aboard to talk about why the Dodgers are so interested in Donaldson. Here’s a video of the segment before we break down the money quotes from Kenny.
First, Rosenthal talks in detail about why the Dodgers are interested in Donaldson. Perhaps they see Donaldson as a veteran who can get them over the top due to his personality type.
“I expect he’s going to do well, and anticipate he gets three or four years around the same salary amount of $23 million. The Dodgers are one team that are interested, and the reason that they are interested is the edge that Donaldson brings.
He is not your typical leader – in some ways and according to some – he’s an acquired taste. While he had some issues fitting in with the Braves last year, eventually those issues were resolved. He is the type of guy who shakes up a room, in the words of one Braves source; ‘he’s an alpha.'”
However, what about the shuffle on the infield if Donaldson is signed by the Dodgers? Next, Rosenthal speculates on that.
“Turner would have to go to first base and keep in mind he’s entering the last year of his deal. A move towards Donaldson or Rendon would be some stability long-term at third. I don’t know how they would play it with Seager and Lux and the elements they have always had, but the addition of a third baseman would add one more.”
Bill Ripken then (incorrectly) says he thinks Cody Bellinger is more valuable at first base then in the outfield, and to just give away Max Muncy to the American League if the Dodgers can get Donaldson. Still, I digress.
Finally, I believe there are some items in place with Donaldson that attract the Dodgers interest. First is his reputation as a ‘grinder’ or enforcer which they may see as something that is needed with the current core. Next is the fact they only have to commit to a shorter-term deal to sign him. Both of these things could be music to the organization’s ears.