For the last couple of weeks now, the belief has been that if the Braves are willing to offer four years, Josh Donaldson will return to Atlanta. It turns out that may not be the case after all.
According to Tomohawk Take, Jim Bowden, a former MLB GM, said the Braves have four years on the table along with the Nationals and the Twins. And it looks like possibly even a fifth year could be in play for whoever wants to land Donaldson’s services. The belief is also that the contract could end up being way over the $25 million AAV that has been expected.
While this is a bit shocking, it’s right on par with the course of this entire offseason. Stephen Strasburg started it off by signing a record-breaking deal with the Nationals. Of course, Gerrit Cole went on to shatter that mark by nearly $100 million, signing a nine-year, $324 million contract with the Yankees. Around all of that, we’ve seen guys like Zack Wheeler, Anthony Rendon, Yasmani Grandal, and Madison Bumgarner all sign north of $70 million.
I was on the edge of the fence when the conversation was about four years and possibly $100 million. The money shouldn’t be the issue. However, going five years for a 34-year old with an extensive injury history is a bit much. The Bringer of Rain was stellar for the Braves last season, but you don’t back up the Brinks truck for past production; that is how you end up shortening your window for contention. We will see how this all plays out, but I can’t say I’m confident the Braves will have Donaldson playing third base next year, and their decision to move on maybe the right one.