Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos open to re-signing Josh Donaldson
Perhaps one of the best gambles of this past MLB offseason was the Atlanta Braves taking a gamble on former American League MVP Josh Donaldson. Atlanta signed Donaldson to a one-year, $23 million deal in November, and the 33-year-old has not disappointed, slashing .259/.374/.526 with 32 homers and a 3.9 fWAR through his first 131 games with the Braves.
As ESPN MLB Insider Jeff Passan reported yesterday, Donaldson’s impressive rebound season might do wonders for his own personal market when he becomes a free agent once again this winter.
In a Q&A with David O’Brien of The Athletic, Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos seemed to indicate that Atlanta would have interest in bringing Donaldson back into the fold this offseason.
“So if our best team is with Austin Riley in the outfield and Josh Donaldson at third base, and that makes sense, we’ll do that. I mean, it’s about winning games. It’s about being a real good team.”
However, Anthopoulos also acknowledged that the Braves are likely to face stiff competition in any potential attempt to re-sign Donaldson.
“So there’s clearly room for both guys; we can see a team with both guys. We’re better with both guys. Problem is, one guy’s a free agent. And I expect the market for him to be strong because of the year that he’s had and what he’s done.”
With Riley looking like the future at the hot corner and top prospects Cristian Pache and Drew Waters quickly accelerating toward the big leagues, the Braves might look to spend money on starting pitchers.
However, Donaldson has had a clear impact on the likes of Ronald Acuna and Freddie Freeman in the lineup, and he is a plus defender. He could be a strong candidate to return to Atlanta.