Braves

Braves’ Anthopoulos: There is mutual interest in Josh Donaldson returning to Atlanta

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The Braves have a bevy of decisions to make regarding pending free agents with Josh Donaldson being at the top of that list. And now that the season is over, Alex Anthopoulos began answering questions, starting with whether or not the Braves want to bring back their star third baseman.

Here is what Anthopoulos had to say:

It’s not surprising at all that both sides have mutual interest. The Braves still have a question mark at third base, given how Austin Riley performed in the second half of the season. And even if Riley were to return to form, he showed he is plenty capable of manning left field. Donaldson also made the Braves a substantially better team and proved he is still an all-around MVP-caliber player.

Donaldson played in 155 games for Atlanta, slashing .259/.371/.521 while playing a Gold Glove-caliber third base. From June on, he was arguably the best player in the National League. There is no debate; he was the primary reason Atlanta went from 90 to 97 wins in 2019.

In regards to his contract, the biggest question will not be AAV (he was already making $23 million this season), but how many years should the Braves re-sign him for. He will be 34 next season and does have a significant injury history that cannot be ignored. The Braves will have to offer at least two years, but it will probably take at least three to lock him down for the long-term in Atlanta.

This will be one of the biggest storylines of the entire offseason, and we will be monitoring it all the way through. Stay tuned to SportsTalkATL for more updates.

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