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Josh Donaldson Finally a Cardinal? 2019 MLB Free Agency Odds

Josh Donaldson runs to first base after connecting with a pitch.
Will Josh Donaldson change addresses yet again? Photo by Keith Allison (flickr)
  • Josh Donaldson could be on the move this offseason after splitting 2018 with the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians  
  • Will the former AL MVP end up in the National League with the St Louis Cardinals?
  • Does Donaldson have anything left in the tank after struggling with injuries over the past two years?

It looks like Hue Jackson and Tyronn Lue aren’t the only ones leaving Cleveland.

Former American League MVP Josh Donaldson could also be bidding adieu to the Forest City according to the latest odds. The online sportsbook believes Donaldson will suit up for the St. Louis Cardinals next season and has put his odds at being a Red Bird at +115.

The other clubs meriting consideration are the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies at +250, and the Tampa Bay Rays at +500.

Josh Donaldson Free Agency Odds

Where Will Josh Donaldson Play in Game 1 of the 2019 MLB Season? Odds
St. Louis Cardinals +115
Cleveland Indians +250
Philadelphia Phillies +250
Tampa Bay Rays +500

This isn’t the first time that Donaldson has been linked to the Cardinals. St. Louis expressed interest in the three-time All-Star in 2017 and nearly scooped him up at the 2018 trade deadline before being beaten to the punch by the Indians. Third base remains a position of need for the Cards, and Donaldson could fit the bill if he’s healthy.

Can Josh Donaldson Still Bring the Rain?

Therein lies the rub. The soon-to-be 33-year-old missed 49 games with a calf strain in 2017, and 110 games in 2018 due to shoulder inflammation and assorted injuries. In fact, Donaldson’s right shoulder was so gimpy to begin the season that he was unable to throw across the diamond. That’s troubling if you’re a little leaguer, but it’s downright unforgivable if you’re a Major League third baseman.

Donaldson’s injuries have taken a big bite out of his production and his value. His batting average, onbase percentage, and slugging percentage have all dropped precariously since his last All-Star campaign in 2016, and he hit just .234 with five home runs and 16 RBI in 36 games with the Blue Jays. Toronto was so eager to get rid of him at the August 31st trade deadline that they gave the Indians a generous cash sweetener to complete the deal.

Josh Donaldson Stats

Year AVG HR RBI
2014 .255 29 98
2015 .297 41 123
2016 .284 37 99
2017 .270 33 78
2018 .246 8 23

Did Donaldson Do Enough in Cleveland to Salvage his Reputation?

Donaldson was far from the savior the Indians were hoping for, but he did show some signs of life in Cleveland, where he hit .280 with three home runs and seven RBI in 16 games. He also shook off any lingering concern over his “dead arm syndrome” with some solid play at the hot corner.

Donaldson Could be the Cardinals Missing Piece

Few teams could use a quality third baseman more than the Cardinals, who were forced to get by last season with Jedd Gyorko. The 30-year-old infielder hit .262 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI, and has suffered a major power shortage since coming over from the Padres in 2016. Gyorko has two years remaining on his contract (including a player option in 2020), and the Cards would be smart to find his replacement sooner rather than later.

Granted, Donaldson is coming off of two substandard years, but when he’s healthy he’s still one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball. His addition would create plenty of buzz at the box office and would give the Cardinals another big bat to add to the talented troika of Matt Carpenter, Marcell Ozuna, and Paul DeJong.

St. Louis knows it needs to make a splash to compete with the Cubs and Brewers in the NL Central, and it’s a safe bet that they’ll go all in on Donaldson this winter. Take the +115 odds available and watch as Donaldson and the Cardinals take flight again in 2019.

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