Age: 12/8/1985 (32)
Traditional Stats: .246/.352/.449, 14 2B, 8 HR, 23 RBI
Advanced Stats: 1.2 bWAR, 1.3 fWAR, 117 wRC+, .203 ISO, 1 DRS
A year ago, Donaldson was looking at a massive free agency check. By all measures, Donaldson was one of the most potent hitters since 2013 and had a solid glove. In 2018 though, Donaldson dealt with a slew of injuries. Donaldson’s shoulder acted up early in the season and he also re-injured his calf. The same calf that cost him parts of his 2017 season.
There really is no questioning Donaldson’s offensive capabilities though. From 2015-2017, Donaldson hit .285/.387/.559 with a .399 wOBA and 154 wRC+. His 21.4 fWAR in that time frame was second only to Mike Trout, his wOBA was fifth in that time frame, and his wRC+ was fourth. In his brief September stint with the Indians, Donaldson hit .280/.400/.520 with a .396 wOBA and 149 wRC+. The answer is clear that when he is healthy, he will hit and hit very well.
If the Mets pursued Donaldson, it would mean they would have to move on from one of Todd Frazier or Jay Bruce. I’d prefer to move Bruce because he has chronic leg issues, he has a longer contract, he’s a worse player, and he has zero defensive value.
On Jon Heyman’s list of predicted free agent contracts, his “expert” thinks Josh Donaldson will get three years and $66 million. I really don’t think he gets that much. Last year’s market showed how rude it is to guys who are coming off injuries and over the age of 32. A three-year or two-year deal for Donaldson with a a front loaded opt-out after 2019 would make sense. He can prove his health and re-enter the market after 2019 and get what he wants. Teams that could be in the market for his services (including the Mets) are the Cardinals, Milwaukee, Atlanta, the Yankees, Cleveland, and the Angels. I’m sure there could be more but those are the ones that make the most sense.
If he does get three years and $66 million, then it was a nice idea while it lasted, Josh. Otherwise, the Mets should definitely inquire about him. He upgrades the offense by a huge amount and gives the Mets a right handed bat to go with Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo.