A’s assistant general manager David Forst told the San Francisco Chronicle last week that Josh Donaldson would get the first shot at replacing Scott Sizemore (knee surgery) at third base.
It’s still early, and regular-season playing time is rarely dictated by spring training stats, but the 26-year-old former catcher is not off to a good start.
Donaldson went hitless in Saturday’s spring exhibition game against the Mariners and is now 0-for-7 with three strikeouts since the opening of Cactus League play. Eric Sogard, who might be next in line for playing time at the hot corner, went 2-for-4 in Saturday’s game and homered in his debut Friday.
Donaldson batted .261/.344/.439 with 17 homers and 70 RBI in 115 games last year at Triple-A Sacramento.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies “are quietly trying to hammer out” a contract extension with J.T. Realmuto. He says it may take some time to be done — nothing is imminent — but that the sides are working on it.
Realmuto still has one final year of arbitration, and he’s likely to get $10 million or more for 2020 if nothing is done. It sounds as though he and the Phillies are both eager to cement a long term pact, however, that’ll keep him from hitting the free agent market next winter. Salisbury says the deal, once reached, could be for 4-5 years and $20+ million per season. He says an extension would likely not kick in until 2021. He and the club would agree to a separate one-year deal to cover 2020.
Realmuto, who is considered by most to be the top all-around catcher in the game at the moment, will turn 29 before the beginning of the 2020 season. He hit .275/.328/.493 with 25 homers and 83 driven in this past season, winning the Silver Slugger Award and a Gold Glove.