Josh Donaldson, Braves Agree to 1-Year Contract

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist

Cleveland Indians' Josh Donaldson hits a solo home run off Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matthew Boyd during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

The Atlanta Braves will take a chance on Josh Donaldson after signing the free-agent third baseman to a one-year contract worth $23 million on Monday, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The Braves would later confirm the deal. 

Eno Sarris of The Athletic noted why this move provides good value for Atlanta:

Eno Sarris @enosarris

and yeah, I think Donaldson showed most of his old pop once he got healthy late. Here’s his rolling exit velo as some evidence. I’d pay him $23 million for one year for sure. https://t.co/4aAZHjcIfQ

The 2018 season was marred by injury for Donaldson, who battled shoulder and calf issues that limited him to just 52 games. The Toronto Blue Jays traded him to the Cleveland Indians before the Aug. 31 deadline, although his injuries created controversy, as he was not healthy enough to play immediately after the deal.

He finally returned to the field in September and produced a .280 batting average and three home runs in 16 appearances. Overall, the 32-year-old produced a .246 batting average and an .801 OPS to go with eight home runs.

The Braves will hope he can stay healthy in 2019, because at his best, Donaldson is a game-changing hitter in the middle of the lineup.           

The 2015 American League MVP averaged 37 home runs and 100 RBI per year from 2015-17, hitting .285 in that stretch with Toronto. He finished in the top 10 in MVP voting in four straight seasons and even earned some votes in 2017 despite playing only 113 games.

If he can come close to replicating this type of production, his new team will have gotten a steal on the open market and an impact player for the upcoming season.


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