Brewers “All-in” Trade Idea #3: Trade For Josh Donaldson
Bring on the rain, because the Brewers have a retractable roof. Josh Donaldson, known as the “Bringer of Rain”, could be available at the trade deadline this year, and Milwaukee may make some sense as a destination.
In fact, Jon Heyman has reported that the Brewers have indeed checked in on Donaldson.
As Heyman notes, Donaldson’s contract could be a stumbling block in getting a deal done, but the Twins could offer to eat some of the money on his contract in order to facilitate a deal. Honestly, that would be the only way the Brewers would be able to afford to trade for Donaldson.
Although Donaldson is in the back half of his career, playing this season at age 35, he’s still been a fairly productive bat when healthy. He’s no longer the player he was in 2015 when he won AL MVP for Toronto, but he can still swing it. Donaldson crushed 37 homers in 2019 with the Braves.
This season for Minnesota, Donaldson is hitting .249/.352/.475 with 15 homers and 15 doubles. His 132 OPS+ is right in line with his career average and several of his most recent seasons.
The key for Donaldson is health as he missed a few weeks in April after getting hurt on Opening Day against the Brewers, and then has had a few scares but no other IL stints this year. He only played in 28 games last year due to injuries.
When it comes to Donaldson’s contract, he’s the only one on this list that isn’t a rental. Donaldson is owed just over $7MM for the remainder of this season, and then has two more guaranteed years with a $21.75MM salary for each of them, and then a club option for $16MM in 2024 with an $8MM buyout. That’s about $66.5MM remaining on his contract if the Brewers acquired him at the Deadline and picked up his option. If they chose the buyout in 2024, it would be $58.5MM.
As stated above, the Twins would have to pick up a significant amount of Donaldson’s salary for this trade to work for Milwaukee.
But if they can get him to Milwaukee and keep him healthy while splitting the bill with Minnesota, Donaldson is the type of impact bat the Milwaukee Brewers need to add to this lineup right now. It would solidify third base with a true power bat and vastly improve this team. Donaldson is another veteran with plenty of postseason experience.
The Brewers would have Donaldson for the next few years if they go this route, and he could help anchor this lineup as they look to keep their window of contention open as long as possible.
These are just a few ideas for the Brewers to consider. While some may be long shots, any one of these transactions would signal not only to fans but to the rest of the league that the Milwaukee Brewers are serious about their chances this year and that they’re all in for a World Series victory in 2021.