St. Louis Cardinals: Darn Josh Donaldson rumors continue

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 29: Josh Donaldson #27 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates scoring a run during the third inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 29: Josh Donaldson #27 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates scoring a run during the third inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images) /
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Those darn rumors of Josh Donaldson signing as a free agent with the St. Louis Cardinals won’t stop.  Now, three more baseball sites have Donaldson signing with Cards.

MLB Trade Rumors, SI MLB and MLB.com have listed the St. Louis Cardinals as a likely destination for free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson.  The Cardinals and Donaldson were linked leading up to both the Non-Waiver and Waiver Trade deadlines in 2018.  Now during this offseason, the rumors continue to connect Donaldson signing with the Cardinals as a free agent.

Based on these three articles, it seems the media and many bloggers are determined for the St. Louis Cardinals to sign Josh Donaldson.  Whether this is the best move for the Cardinals is the current debate.  However, many will say it’s the easiest move for  the Cardinals to make, and that’s why they will sign the former Blue Jay.

Let’s look at the reasons why the St. Louis Cardinals would sign Donaldson as opposed to Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.

Low Risk, Low Cost

This is the obvious one.  Due to Donaldson’s recent health issues, the Cardinals. along with other teams, may find signing the soon-to-be 33-year old as a cost saving move.  Especially as opposed to signing Machado or Harper, who would likely cost 10 years in the $300-400 million range.

Depending on who you read or talk to, Donaldson could be signed for one to three years on an incentive heavy deal (see Adam Wainwright).  This type of deal would fit right in the Cardinals front office tradition of looking for value and not overpaying in the long term (please ignore Dexter Fowler and Brett Cecil).

Even better for the Cardinals front office would be if Donaldson could be convinced to take a one year, incentive heavy contract with a one year option.  This low cost, low risk move would allow the Cardinals additional time to develop a in-house option at third base (aka Nolan Gorman).

Who wants to come to St. Louis?

This has become an issue recently with some of the players the St. Louis Cardinals have pursued, with fresh examples coming in the form of Jason Heyward, David Price, and Giancarlo Stanton.  All three were offered competitive deals, but chose to play elsewhere.  Stanton wasn’t a free agent when the Cardinals pursued him, however invoked his no trade clause and turned down the Cardinals.

The question becomes would Bryce Harper and Manny Machado even be interested in coming to St. Louis.  Both players will likely receive multiple offers and have a choice in destinations.  Playing in front of the ‘best fans in baseball’ may not be attractive enough to draw either player to St. Louis.  It wasn’t enough for Heyward, Price, or Stanton.

But Josh Donaldson may be a different story.  After all, he has played in Oakland, Toronto, and Cleveland, which aren’t exactly media centers in the baseball world. The former MVP and All-Star third baseman is unlikely to draw interest from the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, etc. Additionally, Donaldson’s blue-collar work ethic would seem to fit very well in St. Louis.

Conclusion

The Cardinals are looking for a third baseman that would be an upgrade over Jedd Gyorko, both offensively and defensively.  A healthy Josh Donaldson would fill both roles at a likely low cost, low risk deal.

More from St Louis Cardinals Rumors

This would also buy the Cardinals some additional time to develop a third baseman internally, such as Nolan Gorman, who is currently at Peoria.  Other options this move would give time to would be Evan Mendoza who finished the year at Springfield, or Yairo Munoz.

Josh Donaldson on the other hand, is looking for a destination to reestablish his health and prove to the baseball world he can be an impact MVP caliber player he was in Toronto.  A short-term contract based heavily on incentives may be what Donaldson would accept.  In other words, just the type of deal the Cardinals are looking for to improve their production at third base.

The saga of Josh Donaldson and the St. Louis Cardinals started before the 2018 season started.  It continued during the regular season and still continues in November.  Will it finally result in Josh Donaldson being a St. Louis Cardinal in 2019?

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What is your opinion of these rumors? Should the Cardinals grab Josh Donaldson?  Let us know and…Go Cards.

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