MLB Players that can boost their free agency stock most

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 4: Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) heads for the dugout after finishing an inning during a game between the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers in game 2 of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA on October 4, 2019 . (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 4: Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) heads for the dugout after finishing an inning during a game between the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers in game 2 of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA on October 4, 2019 . (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images) /
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MLB Players That Can Boost Their Free Agency Stock Most

Josh Donaldson, 3B

When the Atlanta Braves signed third baseman Josh Donaldson to a one-year, $23MM deal this past offseason, it became immediately clear that the contract would serve as an opportunity for the 33-year old to show that he could still tap into the talents that made him AL MVP in 2015.

The deal, a gamble for both the Braves and Donaldson, has yielded outstanding results. The former MVP regained his old form, recovering from past injuries to help lead the Braves into the postseason. Donaldson slashed .259/.379/.521 while downright clobbering the baseball, smashing 37 HRs and increasing his hard-hit percentage to 47.5%. He rediscovered his aggressive approach at the plate, raising his swing percentage and first-strike swing percentage back to the levels of his MVP-self.

Donaldson’s arrival in Atlanta coalesced seamlessly with the team’s rise to dominance, with his presence injecting even more offense and leadership into a lineup that already had the likes of Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Ozzie Albies.

Donaldson has had a rather unorthodox career, coming up originally as a catcher but moving to third base early on, where he eventually evolved from a role player into a superstar. “The Bringer of Rain” has been traded three times, but has the opportunity to pick his new home this offseason.

Teams may not be necessarily lining up to sign an aging former MVP, but any roster would love to have his veteran leadership and offensive prowess in their lineup. The Braves have already discussed bringing him back after this season, but if Donaldson is a key part of their October run, they’ll find a lot competition standing in their way.