KEY POINTS

  • The Dodgers are now in pole position to land Josh Donaldson
  • The Cardinals, meanwhile, have traded away two outfielders
  • That paves the road for a reunion with Marcell Ozuna

The Los Angeles Dodgers have recently been given a boost in their pursuit of Josh Donaldson, while the St. Louis Cardinals have just traded two outfielders to the Tampa Bay Rays in order to make room to bring back Marcell Ozuna.

Los Angeles Dodgers To Sign Josh Donaldson

According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, the situations surrounding three of the known suitors of Josh Donaldson have been made murky in their pursuits of the coveted third baseman. These three are the Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins.

As per the report, the Nats have already made a few veteran infield signings including Starlin Castro, Howie Kendrick and Asdrubal Cabrera. All three are capable of playing the hot corner and so Washington is in no rush to outbid other clubs for Donaldson.

They have made a formal offer to the former Toronto Blue Jay, although it was not to the player’s liking. Industry experts theorize that the club made use of deferred money to get their offer up to his $25 million-plus average annual evaluation.

The Atlanta Braves, meanwhile, are fearful that their own four-year contract offer isn’t even close to being the richest on the table for Donaldson. Finally, the Minnesota Twins have gone as far as accepting the possibility that the third baseman will sign elsewhere.

This is despite the fact that the Twins have made a four-year offer. However, that deal is reportedly only worth $85 million over the term of the contract.

According to Rosenthal, the issues with the three teams means that the Dodgers may have a window to snatch Donaldson from under the noses of his other suitors. Los Angeles does have money to spend, although with a playoff-caliber team already in place they don’t really have to make any big upgrades.

They do have a dearth of right-handed hitting in their lineup, making Donaldson an attractive prospect. Don’t be surprised to see the former Oakland Athletic in southern California next season.

St. Louis Cardinals To Land Marcell Ozuna

Meanwhile, another National League club is much closer to landing a free agent target. According to Juan Toribio of MLB.com, the St. Louis Cardinals have sent outfielders Jose Martinez and Randy Arozarena to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for top pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore.

While a minor league catcher and a couple of draft picks were also swapped, these three players are the meat and potatoes of the deal. Landing Liberatore is a big boost for the Cards, but it also sets them up nicely to re-sign Marcell Ozuna.

Losing the two outfielders means the Red Birds have an outfield currently comprised of Tyler O'Neill, Dexter Fowler and Harrison Bader. That trio isn’t bad but none of the players have the same pop in their bat as Ozuna.

The Cardinals did extend a qualifying offer of $17.5 million over one year to the player at the deadline but Ozuna opted to test the waters of free agency instead. He also told Neftalí Ruiz of Dominican news network CDN 37 this week that both the Cards and Texas Rangers are interested.

He went on to say that he enjoyed his time in St. Louis and is open to a return. All signs point to Marcell Ozuna signing for the Cardinals.