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Dodgers

Dodgers remain in hunt for Josh Donaldson, announce 2020 coaching staff

Atlanta Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson throws against the Cardinals.
The Dodgers remain in contention to sign former Atlanta Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson.
(Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

The Dodgers are among the few teams in the hunt for third baseman Josh Donaldson after Anthony Rendon, the best position player on the free-agent market, landed with the Angels late Wednesday.

Donaldson’s other suitors reportedly include the Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals and Minnesota Twins. Donaldson, 34, is five years older than Rendon and will, consequently, accept a shorter contract than the seven-year, $245-million deal Rendon secured. He is expected to make at least $20 million per season. The question is whether a club will go to a fourth year for him.

The Dodgers turned to Donaldson after pursuing Rendon, but not making him an offer Wednesday, according to people with knowledge of the situation. On Tuesday, they lost out on Gerrit Cole to the New York Yankees despite making an eight-year, $300-million offer.

Donaldson enjoyed a rebound season with the Braves after dealing with calf and shoulder injuries the previous two seasons. He clubbed 37 home runs and posted a .900 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 155 games as the Braves won their second consecutive National League East title. He was named 2019 National League comeback player of the year four years after he won American League MVP with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Dodgers might want to get themselves a gizmo like the mysterious 30-pound contraption the New York Yankees reportedly used to woo Gerrit Cole.
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Incorporating Donaldson would require shifting Justin Turner across the diamond from third base. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Turner is willing to move.

Coaching staff changes

The Dodgers announced a few changes to their coaching staff for the 2020 season.

The group will include three new members: bullpen coach Josh Bard, assistant pitching coach Connor McGuinness, and game planning and communications coach Danny Lehmann.

Bard returns to the organization after serving as the Yankees’ bench coach for two seasons. He replaces Mark Prior, who was promoted to pitching coach after Rick Honeycutt’s retirement. McGuinness, 30, joins the staff in a new role after working as Class-A Rancho Cucamonga’s pitching coach.

Lehmann, a special assistant to the club last season, replaces Chris Gimenez, who will be a minor league roving coach in 2020. Lastly, Brant Brown’s title was changed from hitting strategist to hitting coach, a role he effectively shared with Robert Van Scoyoc last season. The two will work as co-hitting coaches next season.

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The remainder of manager Dave Roberts’s staff remains intact with bench coach Bob Geren, first base coach George Lombard, third base coach Dino Ebel, and assistant hitting coach Aaron Bates.


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