Just a few days ago, it was announced (by MLB.com writer Susan Slusser) that A’s third baseman John Donaldson switched agents, abandoning the Bledsoe Brothers for Dan Lozano and the MVP Sports Group of Los Angeles.
Lozano, in Jerry McGuire like fashion, left the successful Beverly Hills Sports Council in 2010 to start MVP Sports Group taking with him notable players such as Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and a plethora of other all-stars. In 2012 Lozano was the one that negotiated Pujols’ massive $240 million 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
Donaldson’s move to the MVP Sports Group may not have much significance to Swingin’ A’s fans since Donaldson, 28, does not become a free agent until after the 2018 season. However, Donaldson, a catcher by trade but playing third base for the A’s in his first full season in 2013, had a performance and seasonal stats that landed him a serious all-star game consideration, as a Gold Glove contender, and fourth in 2013 AL MVP balloting. He’ll be a likely arbitration eligible “Super Two” (top 22 percent of class) this year thus putting A’s GM Billy Bean in a position to recognize Donaldson’s accomplishments with a new long-term contract or go against Lozano at the arbitrator’s table.
Bean, and A’s fans alike, know that for the A’s to successfully compete they need good pitching. But historically the winning teams have also been accompanied with a solid multi-tool third sacker to solidify the lineup for years.
The Mustache Gang of the 70s had Sal Bando, Carney Lansford was part of the Bash Brothers of the late 80s/90s and Eric Chavez was part of the 2000-06 divisional and wild card winners of that era. The team went nowhere with the Brook Jacoby-Kevin Seitzer-Mike Blowers hot corner rotation of the 90s and the same was true for the drought years of the now forgotten Jack Hannahan-Adam Kennedy-Kevin Kouzmanoff trio of 2007 – 2011.
Donaldson broke in with the A’s in 2012, getting his break with injuries to then third baseman Brandon Inge, and the A’s have been in the playoffs since. It’s in the team’s best interest to lock up @BringerOfRain20 to a long-term deal and take on Lozano, who alone in 2011 was responsible for negotiating more than half a billion dollars in contracts, a record for any individual agent or agency in one offseason.
Regardless, with another repeat season, it won’t matter who’s representing Donaldson as he’ll easily see a significant rise to his current $492,500 salary if he goes to arbitration.