With Anthony Rendon off of the market, Josh Donaldson is currently the hottest commodity, as multiple suitors are lining up for his services. The Braves, Nationals, Dodgers, Phillies, and Twins are among the teams with interest.
Atlanta has to protect Freddie Freeman in the lineup, and according to reports, Donaldson’s preference is to re-sign. However, he will also be searching for the largest payday of his career, which will come from whoever is willing to give him a fourth year. And according to Jim Bowden, that doesn’t scare several teams with interest:
According to sources multiple teams are willing go to a 4th year for Josh Donaldson
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) December 12, 2019
Unfortunately, David O’ Brien of The Athletic feels that a fourth-year will take the Braves out of any bidding war. Donaldson had injury issues as recent as 2018, forcing him to settle for a one-year deal from Atlanta, and will be 37 in the last year of a four year deal. But perhaps the fear of losing him to a division rival forces the Braves to go out of their comfort zone.
If not, the Braves will have to turn to the trade market for a third baseman or fill their clean-up hole at another position. They must weigh how vital future financial flexibility is versus their prospect capital, or settle for a downgrade such as Marcell Ozuna, which could complicate the lineup. Stay tuned.