3rd Base, Part 2
On the Josh Donaldson front, Mark Bowman hasn’t been saying very much so far, but he did opine this on Monday:
Of note: while there is an expectation that Anthony Rendon may well end up in Texas for the foreseeable future, the Nationals’ structure of Stephen Strasburg’s deal is such that they could entertain the thought of bringing Rendon back.
However, the belief here is that they intend to use their financial flexibility to go after Donaldson.
Yes – a subtraction from your team is magnified when a club that you play 19 times a year gets the identical addition. That has to be part of the math that Alex Anthopoulos is working through.
So far, the Phillies have been quiet… perhaps because they are running up against the luxury tax threshold (or perhaps they are simply waiting for some smoke to clear). Either way, having them not involved in much would be helpful to Atlanta, for things are getting quite expensive on their own merits without outside help.
What the Braves Want
The shopping list was noted earlier:
- Big bat to protect Freddie Freeman (whether at 3B or LF)
- Backup glove-first shortstop
- 3rd baseman
- 26th man… there’s a possible use for a Rule 5 pickup. More on that later today.
So far, the body language of Anthopoulos seems calm and confident. Perhaps he has some ‘feelers’ out… or offers, even. But that’s no indication that things are close:
Then again, this is a one-liner he uses often – at least once a year:
Overall, there has been a lot of excited chatter among broadcasters at MLB Network Radio and that portends a substantial increase in momentum over last season.
Once the ‘big names’ are all/mostly signed, trade activity should pick up quickly. Whether much of that happens this week… unclear and less probable than you might expect. But there will still be another full week before Christmas for things to happen on that front.
But this was just Day 1. Clearly things are moving in the market, and that’s good for fans, clubs, and players. Stay tuned.