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Josh Donaldson: How Great Is He Actually?




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There's been talk for a very long time about the Twins getting Josh Donaldson and moving Miguel Sano to 1st. Last week, I listed all the reasons why signing Donaldson was a good idea. Today, I'm going to list the reasons why it might not be such a good idea.


One of the main things that might not be good about signing Donaldson is his price. He wants a whopping $110 million for 4 years. (Sorry Donaldson, if you want that much, you may have to wait until February to sign!) The Twins and Braves have reportedly given him offers, but they're not as much as he is asking for.


Along with this is the fact that he is entering his age 34 season. So, when the contract is up, he'll be 38. And not every player is Nelson Cruz in their late 30s. :) He may not be as valuable in the end of his contract as he is in the beginning and teams may not want to risk getting a player who is nearing the end of their career.


Josh Donaldson has been injured in 2 of the last 3 seasons. This year was a great season, with no injuries, but who knows about the future. Showing his past injury record, teams may not want to sign Donaldson because of how often he gets injured and cannot play, even though he is a good player when he is not injured and can play.


There's something that I started wondering about right after I published "The Benefits of Signing Donaldson". What if Sano is WORSE at first base and is better playing at third base? Will they have to alternate with their third basemen like they do with their catchers?

What do you think? Do you agree that Josh Donaldson isn't all he's cracked up to be, or do you think they should go big and sign Donaldson? Write your opinion in the comments!

Note: There is a half solution to the Sano problem. If Sano can't play first, then they can have Marwin Gonzalez play first and look for a real first baseman at the trade deadline in July. But, Sano and Donaldson both have great bats and having them alternate would give them less chances to meet personal home run records. However, Sano is an option to play designated hitter if Cruz needs a day off, along with Mitch Garver.



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Donaldson is a great player offensively and defensively right now. He has been described as having a great hitting mind similar to Nelson Cruz and keeps himself in tremendous shape. If his defense falls off or injuries become an issue, the DH spot will be open soon. 


The issue is the context of signing Donaldson at this point. Other corner infield options at the top of the performance chart have gotten signed while we've waited on a decision. The front office has really backed themselves into a corner at this point with their statements of making impact signings and then missing on just about everyone. Opening the season with an internal option at corner infield or with a Todd Frazier or Mitch Moreland type would be a failure and puts us at further risk for another team to catch us in the Central. 


I don't know that any of this justifies the money, but if they don't make this signing, they're going to have to get real creative to get anyone excited.

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I don’t want to over pay for Donaldson giving ownership excuses to not pay for pitching later.


I have a feeling they are already set on Sano going to 1B. I think with a solid ST of work at 1B I think he will actually be pretty good defensively. If they don’t land Donaldson which seems likely maybe they go after a middle infielder putting Arraez or Polanco at 3B.


Best way to improve pitching now is to improve defense.

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110/8 = 13.75. if JD signs for 110 million he needs to produce 13.75 WAR to justify the contract. He produced around 6 last year. 13.75 is just shy of 3.5 WAR per season. I feel like even with regression he should be able to hit the number or close to it. I don't think it's a huge overpay to sign him. If there was ever a time to strike it is now. But if the Twins want to play chicken with him and the other teams over 10 million whatever. They should make a small concession when he is ready to sign if no one else blinks to get him here.

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Josh Donaldson is worth what he is asking for right now, if it is $100-110M.

The Twins definitely have the money with only $21 million committed in 2021.

Now the front office can put the ball right back in his court by that offer (above).

Then we see if JD really objects to MN money and will only play for Atlanta.

This seems rather simple.

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He's not a good player when not injured. He's a great player. He won an MVP. He would've been the best player on the Twins last season. 


Go get him. 4/90 is a bargain. 4/100 is fair. Even 4/110 would be acceptable. He's been a 5 war player 6 out of the last seven years guys. For reference, that's better than 2019 Max Kepler. He was injured only in 2018. 


He's going to OPS .875 for you, play great defense at third, and he's a gamer. My only hesitation is clubhouse fit but I assume the FO has investigated that since they've already made a serious offer. 

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