Continuing their desire to land at least one of the premier free agents on the board, the Angels have shown interest in third baseman Josh Donaldson. They’ve “checked in on” the 34-year-old star, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
It’s now known that the Angels have thrown their hat in the ring on the two best third basemen available on the open market. A report from earlier Tuesday indicated they’ve also expressed interest in Anthony Rendon, who figures to cost far more than Donaldson. Thanks in part to the age difference between the two (Rendon won’t turn 30 until June), Rendon will significantly out-earn Donaldson. MLBTR predicts Rendon for a seven-year, $235MM contract and Donaldson for a three-year, $75MM payday. However, the chances of Donaldson reeling in a four-year pact appear to be increasing after an excellent season in Atlanta for the former American League MVP.
While the Angels’ focus is on signing the No. 1 free agent available, right-hander Gerrit Cole, there’s clearly room for a major splash at the hot corner. They traded Zack Cozart to the Giants on Tuesday, thus ridding themselves of a third base option and (perhaps more importantly) just over $12MM in payroll room. And there’s not necessarily a proven performer at the position left on the roster. David Fletcher’s a solid player, but adding a different third baseman could enable him to focus on second in 2020. Matt Thaiss didn’t hit much during his initial major league action in 2019, meanwhile, and save for a magical few months last season, Tommy La Stella doesn’t carry a long track record as an above-average big leaguer.