Cardinals’ offseason target: Josh Donaldson
Fans who participated in the MLB Trade Rumors fan prediction contest believe the Cardinals will land Josh Donaldson, the 13th rated free agent this offseason.
Of the 6,845 people who participated in the contest, 50.1 percent believe Donaldson will land in St. Louis. Just 6.1 percent believe he’ll sign with the Braves.
This news is significantly different from the top 10 free agents, including Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, who fans gave the Cardinals virtually no chance of signing.
Donaldson, who won the 2015 AL MVP award with the Toronto Blue Jays, is coming off a year where shoulder and leg injuries limited him to just 52 games. He was traded Aug. 31 to Cleveland and managed to hit .280 with three home runs after joining the Indians. He struggled in the Indians ALDS matchup with the Houston Astros, managing only one hit in 11 at bats.
That series was a bit of an outlier for Donaldson, who, while with Toronto, had hit .333 in the 2016 ALCS and .538 in the 2016 ALDS.
Donaldson to the Cardinals has been an oft-repeated rumor for the past year. During the 2017 offseason, the Cardinals reportedly offered prized pitcher Jack Flaherty and another prospect to Toronto in an effort to land the slugging third baseman.
The Cardinals were then rumored to be pursuing a trade at the Aug. 31 waiver deadline, though Donaldson ended up shipped off to the Indians for a prospect.
Prior to the 2018 season, Donaldson signed a 1-year, $23 million contract to avoid his final arbitration year. It was the largest 1-year contract for an arbitration-eligible player ever.
Donaldson is predicted to sign a 1-year, $20 million deal for 2019 in an effort to show teams he’s healthy and deserving of a long-term deal next offseason.