Dougherty: Donaldson signing would change perception of Nats' offseason

The Fan News Desk
December 17, 2019 - 5:00 pm

If the Washington Nationals are unable to sign free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson, the perception of the team’s offseason would be different, Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty told The Sports Junkies on Tuesday. 

The Nationals re-signed Stephen Strasburg to a seven-year, $245 million deal but have a vacancy at third base after seeing Anthony Rendon sign a seven-year, $245 free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels. 

While the Nats have been linked to several other infield candidates, Donaldson makes the most sense because he can be signed to a three or four-year deal, Dougherty said. 

“As long as you have (Strasburg, Max Scherzer, and Patrick Corbin), that’s when you’re going to be at the height of your competitiveness,” Dougherty told The Junkies. “So maximizing that window and then sort of leaving yourself to build after it, maybe cleaning the books after Scherzer’s off the team or whatever it may be, that gives you a really good chance to go in a new direction.” 

Dougherty said signing Donaldson would give the Nationals the payroll flexibility needed to begin restructuring the roster once Scherzer’s contract ends. 

“I actually really don’t mind the three to four-year deal,” Dougherty said. “It’s just a matter if they can get it done. If they cannot, this offseason starts to look a lot different.” 

Donaldson, 34, hit .259/.379/.521 with a 127 OPS+ and 37 home runs for the Atlanta Braves last season.

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