1. Josh Donaldson
The Phillies need to sign a third baseman or outfielder to complete their lineup this season, and third base is the more likely position for them to target after they decided to finally give up on Maikel Franco after six seasons. Franco arrived in the big leagues to great hype, but the Phillies may have neglected his development by calling him up at 22 to hit in a flailing lineup without a fully-mature approach at the plate. Because they also cut ties with second baseman Cesar Hernandez, the Phillies cannot play Scott Kingery at third base any more.
There are a ton of holes on the roster at the moment – Kingery is penciled in as the starter at third and second base on the official MLB depth chart. The hot corner is a big one to fill, and the Phillies need to fill it with Josh Donaldson. He is a proven winner who will provide the right type of leadership to light a fire under the team.
Donaldson is at the point of his career where winning is the only thing that matters. Can the Phillies convince him they’re ready to make the step and contend for a World Series over the next four years, the likely length of his deal? There are selling points, for sure, including hitting in a lineup with Bryce Harper and playing under Joe Girardi.
Harper needs an All-Star running mate to give him some protection in the lineup. Donaldson’s presence would make it impossible for teams to pitch around Harper. He would also take some of the pressure off Harper to be the absolute leader and fall guy for the franchise. Donaldson is almost too perfect for the Phillies, and they may have to pay a premium to pull him away from the rival Atlanta Braves.