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Milwaukee Brewers check in on Josh Donaldson, per report

Still owed significant dollars on his contract, the veteran brings a heavy bat to a team that desperately needs one

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers have checked in on Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson, according to Jon Heyman.

As Heyman mentions, Donaldson is still owed a lot on his contract with the Twins, which would make him, generally, outside the realm of possibility for Milwaukee. Yet here is a report suggesting otherwise. And most of us remember the Milwaukee was rumored to be in on Justin Turner at the start of the season.

Well Turner is actually older than Donaldson by a few months. The Dodgers gave Turner 2-years, $34 million to return. Milwaukee was likely in this vicinity. $60 million over the next two years and the rest of this season is significantly more than what Turner got, but obviously Minnesota could eat some of those dollars to get more back in trade if that is the route Milwaukee chooses to go. If it is, Josh Donaldson is still hitting baseballs really well.

So far this season, Donaldson is slashing .249/.352/.475 while pounding out 15 homers and putting up an OPS+ of 132. All of this in pretty much in line with what he has been doing over the past few seasons. That might not be 2015-2017 Josh Donaldson, but that is still awfully darn good. Plus he is still hitting the tar out of the baseball. Take a look at his hard hit percentiles. They remain elite.

MLB Percentiles Josh Donaldson
Baseball Savant

Donaldson is not the defender he once was, but he is adequate. The bat is what plays in this situation. Something else that plays is the edge he brings to the game. He has already had dust ups regarding the inauthentic spin rates of Garrett Cole and Lucas Giolito. He is not afraid to say whatever comes to his mind. That can be good and bad, but his edge might be just what the doctor ordered for this Brewers team that will need to be tough down the stretch.

How likely that the Brewers get Josh Donaldson is anyone’s guess. If the Brewers do get Donaldson, it is a game changer. It might be just what this Brewers’ executive was alluding to in his comment to Robert Murray, “We are close to being a legit contender,” one high-ranking Brewers executive said. “If we can add some valuable pieces, we could legitimately win this thing.” This might be the year the Brewers go for it, and Donaldson may be the missing piece David Stearns and Company think is necessary to get over the hump.

Baseball statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference and Baseball Savant