By now, I know you’re tired of hearing about Josh Donaldson and are thinking, “Just sign already, please.” I can’t promise that he’s close to doing so (although I believe he is), but I can say the Braves do appear to be the clear cut favorites as we turn the calendar to 2020.
According to several reports, the Twins, Nationals, and Braves are the three teams still involved in the bidding for The Bringer of Rain, and all have offered him a four-year deal. Ken Rosenthal informed us last week that Donaldson is waiting on a team to reach his four-year, $110 million desired contract, but that could be nothing more than a negotiation tactic. Because if the Braves are willing to offer four years, they seem like the overwhelming favorite to land Josh Donaldson, and that is becoming more evident by the day.
This past weekend, the Star Tribune up in Minnesota reported that Donaldson has shown little to no interest in going to the Twins and that Minnesota has started to evaluate their other options.
Meanwhile, the Nationals, who still have an offer on the table, spent last week acquiring infielders Starlin Castro and Asdrubal Cabrera. Jon Heyman and Bob Nightengale both report that they will welcome Donaldson if he decides to come there, but they do not feel confident in that happening.
That leaves the Braves – who from the beginning of the offseason – have had Donaldson as their top priority. Sure, Atlanta has the option to pursue one of Kris Bryant or Nolan Arenado if Donaldson were to walk. However, that would cost some significant prospect capital, and so far, General Manager Alex Anthopoulos has held onto his prospects like gold. The ideal scenario has always been to bring back Donaldson, and apparently, four years isn’t enough to scare them away.
From the sound of things, it looks like everybody’s best deal is on the table, and the Braves are likely to hang onto The Bringer of Rain. The wait continues, but I would be really surprised if this did not come to a conclusion by the end of this week.