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Red Sox should target Josh Donaldson: Danny Picard

Danny Picard writes a weekly column for Metro Boston
Red Sox, Josh Donaldson
Danny Picard on why the Red Sox should target Josh Donaldson. Getty Images

Giancarlo Stanton is a Yankee. By the time you read this, Manny Machado might also be bound for the Bronx.

 

Get over it.

 

For all the bitching and moaning that goes along with New York making blockbuster trades while the Red Sox figure out what their offseason plan of attack will be, it seems to be lost on everyone in Boston that Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski made three of the biggest acquisitions in baseball the previous two offseasons.

 

It started with trading for Craig Kimbrel. It continued with signing David Price. And it eventually led to acquiring Chris Sale in a blockbuster last winter.

 

Now, with Brian Cashman and the Yankees in the spotlight for their eye-opening acquisitions, people want even more out of Dombrowski and the Red Sox.

 

We’re hearing names like power hitters J.D. Martinez, Jose Abreu, and Marcell Ozuna. I’ve been leading the charge for the Sox to sign Eric Hosmer. I even told you that Dombrowski should call the Washington Nationals and at least ask about Bryce Harper, who will be a free agent next offseason.

 

Since we all have our GM caps on, allow me to get even more creative than that.

 

Go get Josh Donaldson.

 

If the Baltimore Orioles are considering trading their All-Star third baseman within the division, then maybe the Toronto Blue Jays should too. Also included in the Machado trade chatter is his interest to move to shortstop.

 

Well, while we’re on the topic of potential in-division trades and positional changes for players entering contract years, it’s not crazy to entertain the idea of Donaldson in Boston.

 

Both Machado and Donaldson are free agents next winter. And both the Orioles and Blue Jays have been approached this week at the Winter Meetings about their availability.

 

The Red Sox seem to be set at third base with 21-year-old Rafael Devers making a strong impression during the second half of last season. But the Sox do have an opening at first base, and if Dombrowski wanted to try and get creative, he should be able to figure out a way to send prospects to Toronto and find an everyday spot in the lineup for Donaldson.

 

The options would be to either move Devers or Donaldson to first, or move Hanley Ramirez back to first and make Devers or Donaldson the DH.

 

Assuming Ramirez wants to stay in the DH spot, I don’t see why Devers couldn’t play first. If Ramirez can make the switch effectively — which he did in 2016 — then I’m sure Devers can too.

 

Donaldson might be open to playing some first base, but if he didn’t want to make that move, it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker because of the other aforementioned options. 

 

A trade like this would obviously be dependent on getting a window to negotiate and finalize a contract extension with Donaldson beforehand.

 

But if everyone wants to get nuts, this is the trade the Red Sox should realistically be trying for.

 

Donaldson just turned 32 this month. He’s hit 33-plus home runs in each of the last three seasons, including 41 during his AL MVP season of 2015, while also finishing with 123 RBI. He’s a career .277 hitter in the regular season, and a career .292 hitter in the postseason.

 

There’s also something about Donaldson’s demeanor that you hate to see on the other team, but love to have on yours. He’s a dirt dog, a home-run hitter, and an RBI machine.

 

If the Blue Jays don’t want him walking for nothing next offseason, then they’ll consider moving him right now. And if that’s the case, Dombrowski shouldn’t hesitate to pick up the phone and bring Donaldson to Boston.

 

Listen to “The Danny Picard Show” at dannypicard.com. Follow him on Twitter @DannyPicard.

 
 
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