What's next for top free agent Donaldson?

December 16th, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- This week's Winter Meetings saw a trio of major moves, as the top three free agents came off the board on consecutive days.

and were the big-ticket items for the Nationals and Yankees on Monday and Tuesday, while served as the main event on Wednesday, signing with the Angels.

It's your turn now, .

The 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Award winner is the most prominent player left on the free-agent market, one which has seen more early activity than most had expected.

Rendon's deal with the Angels leaves Donaldson with no real competition on the third-base market, with Maikel Franco, Todd Frazier and Travis Shaw representing the next-best free-agent options for clubs seeking help at the hot corner.

Kris Bryant remains a potential trade target, though until his service-time dispute is resolved, it's highly unlikely that any team would offer up the type of package to pry him away from the Cubs.

That leaves Donaldson -- who turned 34 on Sunday -- in prime position to land a four-year deal worth at least $100 million.

According to sources, five teams are currently in the mix for Donaldson: the Braves, Nationals, Rangers, Dodgers and Twins. Washington must replace the departed Rendon, while Atlanta had Donaldson at third base in 2019 after signing him to a one-year, $23 million contract.

Sources indicated Wednesday night that a Donaldson signing is not imminent, as the lack of another star-caliber free agent at the position should allow his camp to take its time sorting through potential suitors.

The Dodgers have Justin Turner under contract for one more year, though Turner expressed a willingness to change positions had Los Angeles signed Rendon, and he could be willing to do the same to accommodate Donaldson.

Minnesota currently has Miguel Sano at third base, though there's a belief that the Twins would prefer to shift him to first base. Texas missed out on Rendon and is opening a new ballpark this spring, so the idea of adding a player of Donaldson's status remains appealing to the Rangers.

Donaldson was limited to just 52 games in 2018, but the three-time All-Star answered questions about his durability last season, playing 155 games for the Braves, hitting 37 home runs with a .900 OPS.

Whichever team Donaldson ultimately signs with, the robust market for his services should allow him to make a decision before the end of the month.