The LA Angels are in desperate need of a third baseman. They have been rumored to be key players for former Royals’ third baseman Mike Moustakas. However, they should at least consider targeting a former MVP.
The LA Angels saw just how great of a player Josh Donaldson is when he beat out Mike Trout for the 2015 MVP award. Prior to that, they were consistently beaten by him as a member of the Oakland Athletics.
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Now, they have a chance to add him to the team. And if they can, it may just be the best move they can make.
In 2017, Donaldson had a career-low .270 batting average. He struggled in the first half of the season, but bounced back with a 290 average to finish out the year. He has always had an exceptional fielding resume, consistently flashing the leather and having an above average arm.
Donaldson has one year left in his contract. The Halos would be trading for a rental that would improve their team as a whole and allow them to at least contend with the Houston Astros. However, it would also do something that the signing of a Moustakas-like player would not.
Donaldson’s contract would be off the books next offseason, giving the Angels enough spending money to be major players in what could be the best free agent class of this millennium. If they pinch their money this offseason, they could potentially land another superstar next year.
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Maybe pair Trout with the player he has been compared to since his debut in Bryce Harper? Perhaps solve that third base problem with arguably the best young player at the hot corner in Manny Machado? The possibilities are endless in next year’s class, and trading for Donaldson would leave the Angels with options. Perhaps they even resign Donaldson if he shows signs of his old self in 2018.
So how much would it cost the Halos? Not as much as one may think, actually. The Blue Jays do want pro-ready players along with long-term pieces. If the Halos put together a package of Parker Bridwell, CJ Cron, and outfield prospect Brandon Marsh, it may be enough for Toronto to pull the trigger. Donaldson’s price is lower because of Blue Jays’ top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who has all the talent his father did plus better plate vision and the ability to play third.
The Angels trading for Donaldson would be the smartest move they can make. It allows them to contend in 2018 while also leaving the possibility of a huge free agent addition next season. If they can get a deal done, Eppler should not hesitate to pull the trigger.