During the offseason, the New York Mets were interested in finding an everyday third baseman until Brett Baty, or another top prospect is ready. Now, that is more apparent than ever. In the latest Mets trade rumors to hit social media, they have their eyes on one of them.
Former MVP Josh Donaldson has become the talk of Mets trade rumors in early July. A member of the Minnesota Twins and lifelong American League third baseman, he’d be a huge splash for the Mets to make.
But is he the right one?
New York Mets trade rumors report they have “engaged” with Minnesota Twins over a potential trade for third baseman Josh Donaldson
As the Mets have begun talking third base, a few things about the team have become clear. That being said, here is what the latest Mets trade rumor means for the franchise…
The focus on third base
Well, again, this is not a new position of issue for the Mets. The team has not had a stable third baseman since before David Wright struggled to stay healthy.
In 2021, the position has been held by everyone from J.D. Davis and Jonathan Villar to Luis Guillorme and Jose Peraza. All who have not made undeniable cases to be multi-year solutions at the position.
Individually, they combine for a 1.8 WAR, totaling 13 home runs and 38 runs batted in on the year. All solid, but not game-changing numbers, which is what the Mets need on offense right now.
After all, they have the worst offense in baseball when it comes down to their most important job – scoring runs.
The potential Josh Donaldson effect
Is he 35-years-old? Yes. Is he only on the second season in a four-year deal that should the Mets acquire will put them over the luxury tax barring any salary-shedding moves? Yes.
Yet, the reality is, Donaldson could bring what Yoenis Cespedes brought in 2015 – an energizing middle-of-the-order bat.
Entering the weekend, Donaldson has 13 home runs and 34 runs batted on the year. He is hitting for a .250 average and owns an on-base percentage of .345. Simply put, the Mets would welcome him into the middle of their lineup with open arms in 2021.
Just imagine this lineup at the top of the order:
1. CF Brandon Nimmo
2. SS Francisco Lindor
3. 3B Josh Donaldson
4. 1B Pete Alonso
5. LF Dominic Smith
6. RF Michael Conforto
7. 2B Jeff McNeil
8. C James McCann
Additionally, Donaldson has not been the greatest defender. He has -1 defensive runs saved, though the Mets do have that plethora of other third basemen who can come in during the later innings defensively.
The potential fallout
Should these Mets trade rumors come true and the team moves towards a Donaldson trade, it likely means the end for J.D. Davis and the Mets. A fan favorite, Davis has had an amazing career with the Mets as a batter, just has never found a true home defensively.
Third base is the spot he primarily holds, mainly to get his bat in the lineup. However, a trade for Donaldson shifts him to the bench. Except, when a player has just under a .300 batting average and is under team control until 2025 – they become a hot trade chip.
With David Peterson joining the list of injured starting pitchers for the Mets, do not be surprised if the Mets look to add another pitcher. Who knows, if they add a big bat, specifically Donaldson at third, the Mets could put more chips in towards adding fellow Twin Jose Berrios in a deal too.
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At the end of the day, the Mets are that one jump-start away before their offense breaks out. There is no way this many proven major league sluggers struggle this way for an entire season. And a trade for three-time All-Star and former MVP third baseman Josh Donaldson may be exactly the jump-start the team needs.