The first action-packed day of the Winter Meetings is coming to a close, and it consisted of several moves, including the biggest one of the offseason thus far, as the Nationals struck a record-breaking deal for Stephen Strasburg that will pay him $245 million over the next seven years. That sets the floor for Gerrit Cole’s new contract, who is younger, without an injury history, and frankly, better. He could potentially blow by the 300 million dollar mark in free agency, which will be yet another sign of teams being much more open to spending this offseason.
Zack Wheeler signed for well over $100 million, and rumors are Madison Bumgarner is looking for something similar. If he lands it, he, along with Wheeler, will have blown by their projected contracts, much like Strasburg did, and Cole will.
The spending spree hasn’t been limited to just pitchers either. Yasmani Grandall received five years and $75 million from the White Sox, and Mike Moustakas finally stopped having to settle for one-year deals, signing with the Reds for four years and $64 million. If those contacts are any indication, Donaldson could be looking for four years and around $100 million, and it’s easy to see a team willing to meet his needs. After Rendon, who only a few teams can even afford, Donaldson is the only other reliable free-agent third baseman. He just happens to be a superstar. The Nationals, Phillies, and Rangers are all interested, and if the Dodgers miss out on Rendon, I’m sure Donaldson will also find himself on their radar as well.
As of now, nothing appears to be close, at least that is what Alex Anthopoulos told David O’Brien of The Athletic. However, it is worth mentioning that Anthopoulos is known for his elite poker face, rarely dropping any information on free-agent or trade negotiations. Still, I don’t think anything major is imminent. Anthopoulos also told O’Brien what the Braves are looking for over the remainder of the offseason. To nobody’s surprise, his answer was “a big bat.” Donaldson is the ideal choice, filling their hole at third base. But the Braves could always look towards the outfield if he becomes too pricey.