One of the first things that got brought up when we were talking about the trade was Donaldson’s contract. He is owed $21 million in 2022, $21 million in 2023, and has a $16 million club option with an $8 million buyout in 2024.
It’s where the $5 million per year in the first two years comes from. It knocks it to $16 a year, which seems like a fairly reasonable amount. It’s been an interesting stretch for Donaldson, but I think 2021 is still a fair representation of what you could get from Donaldson. Here are the last three seasons.
- 2019 – 155 G, 659 PA, .259/.379/.521, 33 2B, 37 HR, 94 RBI, 96 R, 5.4 WAR
- 2020 – 28 G, 102 PA, .222/.373/.469, 2 2B, 6 HR, 11 RBI, 14 R, 0.6 WAR
- 2021 – 135 G, 543 PA, .247/.352/.475, 26 2B, 26 HR, 72 RBI, 73 R, 3.2 WAR
There’s even a chance, that on a young and potentially dangerous Mariners team that he has a bit of that 2019 production left, even though I wouldn’t put too much faith in another 5.4 WAR season like 2019.
However, it’s not just the offensive numbers that are important, especially for a third baseman. Over that same time frame, he was a 1.2, 0.0, and 0.1 dWAR at third base. He’s still got average to above-average defense in him, which is important for a low strikeout/high groundball Mariners team.
In return, we give up a bit more due to receiving a bit of money to offset the contract. Puckett’s Pond was looking for some offensive prospects that they could add into their system, which is where Alberto Rodriguez and Patrick Frick come into play. They were also looking for a starting pitcher who could enter into their 2022 rotation, which is why they went for Justin Dunn.
Next up is a bit less return for the Twins, but comes with the Mariners eating the entirety of the contract.