By: Lou Landers – https://twitter.com/LandersTalks
3B: Anthony Rendon
There is no doubt in my mind that the Nationals want to and plan to do everything in their power to re-sign their MVP and the possible NL MVP. They have the money to do it, especially after not signing Harper last season. Rendon has also expressed interest in re upping with the Nationals so they are still the most likely destination for him.
With that being said, he is set for a big pay day and the Dodgers have gone on record saying that Rendon is one of their big targets this offseason. Dodgers current 3B Justin Turner has even said that he is open to a position change if the Dodgers do in fact go after Rendon. They would likely look to trade one of if not both Corey Seager and Joc Pederson in order to open up roster space and some cap space, but adding Rendon to a team that already has Bellinger, Turner, Muncy, Lux and Pollack would be a frightening lineup for any opposing pitcher to navigate. The Nats have to re-sign this guy though, he is just too valuable and there is a good chance they are going to lose SP Stephan Strasburg who recently opted out of his contract.
OF – Marcell Ozuna
Ozuna has become somewhat of a defensive liability since he became a Cardinal. While with the Marlins he actually played a lot of CF and was a gold glove caliber defender. He is an impact bat though, with tremendous power and run producing abilities, and would be inserted right into the middle of almost any lineup around the league. I’m not saying his defense means that he is more likely to sign in the AL where he can be deployed as a DH, NL teams will still bid for his services, but I would definitely see a team like the Indians or White Sox making a strong play for him. The Indians do have limited funds currently, however they declined Jason Kipnis’ option and might trade star SS Francisco Lindor.
In the NL, the Cards could definitely try to bring him back, the Giants need offensive help in the worst way and a team like the Reds will be looking to add to their lineup as well after having one of the better starting rotations in 2019. I envision a 4 year deal in the 80-90 million range for Ozuna.
3B: Josh Donaldson
Donaldson had a resurgent season in Atlanta this past year after signing a one year deal there. The Braves want him back and he is interested in staying. The Braves do have 3B prospect Austin Riley waiting in the wings, but Riley played primarily OF in 2019 for the Braves and can again in 2020 and beyond if the Braves do in fact decide to bring back JD.
Besides Atlanta, I look at a team like the Cardinals who have been linked to Donaldson for years now, or perhaps a team like the Angels who might want to add some protection to their lineup for Mike Trout. He still plays a solid 3B and when healthy he is a force in any lineup. If not the Braves, Cardinals or Angels, a surprise team like Texas could be a fit. There is also the possibility that the Nationals could turn their attention to Donaldson if they’re unable to retain Rendon. Look for a 2 year deal worth around 55 million dollars.
1B: Jose Abreu
It is very possible that Abreu stays in Chicago with the White Sox. They have had the chance to trade him each of the past 2 years but instead decided to keep him around because he is a mentor to their young Latin-American players. Furthermore, the White Sox believe that they are close to competing, so bringing back their slugger is definitely one of their top priorities.
If we want to look outside of the White Sox organization though, there are a few teams that make sense for Abreu. The Red Sox have been linked to him for quite some time, and if they happen to trade Mookie Betts or see JD Martinez opt out of his contract, they will be looking to bring in a big time slugger like Abreu who would fit well in the middle of their lineup and in Fenway Park with the Green Monster.
Another team to keep an eye on is the White Sox division rival, the Twins who could use Abreu at 1B rather than CJ Cron. If you’re looking for an outside the box idea, the Phillies could sign Abreu and then move Rhys Hoskins to the OF, where he played during the 2018 season. A middle of the order featuring Abreu, Harper and Hoskins would be about as good as it gets in the NL. If the Phillies were smart, they would use their money to upgrade their starting rotation though.
C: Yasmani Grandal
After signing a one year deal in Milwaukee last offseason, Grandal now re-enters the open market once again as the best option at his position. He has been a consistent source of power for years now and as a switch hitter he adds versatility to any lineup. The problem I envision is that there isn’t that big a market for him in my eyes. Only a contending team should even consider adding Grandal and many of those teams are already set at the catcher position. Of the teams who aren’t, they have bigger holes to fill and need their money do so.
There are however a few teams that would benefit from an upgrade offensively at catcher. The Astros hardly need any more offense, however Chirinos is in his mid to late 30’s and adding a bat like Grandal would only deepen their lineup. I also take a look at teams like the Braves who just saw Brian McCann retire and the Rockies who have gotten little to no production from the catcher spot. I think we can all agree that the Rockies need to spend their money on pitching though, they have no problem scoring runs.