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Nolan Arenado Trade Rumors: Braves' Pursuit Hinges on Josh Donaldson Free Agency

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIIDecember 29, 2019

Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) in the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Atlanta Braves have eyes for free-agent third baseman Josh Donaldson, according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi:

Jon Morosi @jonmorosi

Source: #Braves unlikely to aggressively pursue a Nolan Arenado trade with the #Rockies while Josh Donaldson remains available in free agency. If Donaldson signs elsewhere, Arenado-to-Atlanta becomes more plausible. @MLBNetwork @MLB

Morosi reported Friday that Atlanta has "inquired" with the Colorado Rockies about trading for third baseman Nolan Arenado, "although discussions between the teams have not been active recently." Morosi added that "Atlanta is said to be wary of the salary commitment but has the sort of prospect group Colorado wants in any Arenado deal."

On Dec. 11 during the winter meetings, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported the "Rockies are willing to listen to trade inquiries" on Arenado. But the 28-year-old five-time All-Star would make the final call because of the no-trade clause in the eight-year, $260 million extension he signed in February.

Donaldson was named the 2019 National League Comeback Player of the Year for his excellent performance with the Braves last season. The 34-year-old posted a .259/.379/.521 slash line with 37 home runs and 94 RBI across 155 regular-season games.

Atlanta signed Donaldson to a one-year, $23 million contract in November 2018. The 2015 American League MVP had been limited to 52 games between the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians during the 2018 campaign because of shoulder and calf injuries.

Arenado posted a .315/.379/.583 slash line with 41 home runs and 118 RBI across 155 games last season. He also earned the seventh Gold Glove of his career, which he has spent entirely with Colorado.