Report: Nationals aggressively pursuing Josh Donaldson
The Washington Nationals lost Anthony Rendon in free agency earlier this month when the star third baseman signed with the Los Angeles Angels, and they are still working hard to find his replacement.
The Nationals have been “aggressive” in their pursuit of Josh Donaldson, Jon Heyman of Fancred reports. Several teams are still trying to sign the 34-year-old, however.
Nats are in heavy on Donaldson. Braves likely get last call but Washington is aggressive. Nats were still in on Rendon after Strasburg, so they would seem to have the $. JD in great position but question is: Will he hit $100M? Rangers, Dodgers, Phillies, Twins also linked to JD
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 16, 2019
Donaldson bet on himself last year by signing a one-year, $23 million deal with the Atlanta Braves. The gamble paid off, as he hit 37 homers and had a .900 OPS for the NL East champions. However, teams almost certainly have concerns about giving him a long-term deal at his age.
Rendon, who is more than four years younger than Donaldson, signed a seven-year, $245 million deal with the Angels. Donaldson is likely seeking an annual salary comparable to Rendon’s $35 million, but he can’t expect to get seven years. A more realistic number would probably be $100 million over three or four years.
Donaldson has already spent some serious coin this offseason for a very good reason, and he knows he is about to become even richer. If the Nationals can sign him after inking Stephen Strasburg to an extension, that would be a solid winter for the defending World Series champions.