This past week, Andy Martino of SNY tweeted that the New York Mets are looking to boost their offense by adding a third baseman. When I saw that part of the tweet I was very happy as the Mets do need to boost their offense and there’re a couple of third basemen that I am interested in like Kris Bryant and Eduardo Escobar. However, the end of Martino’s tweet said “Josh Donaldson is a possibility.”
Josh Donaldson has had a great career and is still a good player when he plays, but he is not someone I want the Mets to even consider trading for.
There’re many reasons why I think this.
First, the contract. Donaldson is scheduled to make $21 million dollars per year next year and the year after and has a club option worth $8 million dollars in 2024.
That’s a very hefty contract that I don’t really want the Mets to take on as they still have to pay guys like Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, and Michael Conforto in the offseason or find replacements for those guys.
Second, the injury history. Donaldson is 35 years old and has played over 115 games once since 2016. Donaldson has been battling hamstring problems for a number of years, and that just doesn’t get better as you age. Donaldson already missed time this season with a hamstring strain and is currently day to day with a tight hamstring.
The one year that Donaldson was able to stay healthy, of course, came in his only year in the National League East as a member of the Braves when he slashed .259/.379/.521 with 37 home runs and 94 RBI in 155 games.
When he is healthy, Donaldson can still play at a pretty high level. Even this year, Donaldson has slashed .252/.347/.491 with 13 home runs and 34 RBI. He also plays a solid third base. He would be an upgrade over the likes of J.D. Davis and Jonathan Villar, but I don’t think he’s a huge upgrade. Definitely not one to take that massive contract.
What I would maybe consider in a deal for Donaldson would be an addition of Jose Berrios to the trade. The Twins will be sellers at the deadline and they might consider parting ways with their 27-year-old right-hander if it meant the Donaldson contract was off of their books.
Is that realistic? Probably not. But the only way I would want the Donaldson contract is if the Twins add something that would fill a bigger need, and Berrios certainly does that.
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There are other third basemen out there that are on cheaper deals and are more reliable to stay on the field. I’d rather the Mets target those guys than the overpaid and aging Josh Donaldson.