Bob Nightengale reports that the Cardinals “are expected to strongly pursue” Josh Donaldson this offseason.
Donaldson is not a free agent, of course. He’s still arbitration eligible. The Blue Jays, though, dangled him at the trade deadline and may be willing to shop him again this offseason. Or maybe not: they’re letting Jose Bautista walk, obviously, but there has yet to be any suggestion that they plan to blow things up.
For his part, Donaldson has had another strong season in 2017, batting .272/.389/.564 with 33 homers and 77 RBI. He’s been particularly strong in the second half, hitting 24 of those homers and posting an OPS of 1.009 in 65 games. He missed about a month and a half between mid-April and late May with a strained calf.
Everyone needs a bat — the Cardinals particularly – and if Donaldson is available, he’d be a nice guy to get. I just sorta doubt the Jays will make him available.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.