After the comments from Josh Donaldson and Alex Anthopoulos following the news of Donaldson signing with the Twins, it didn’t sound like the Braves made a competitive offer. Anthopoulos said they “were given every opportunity” to bring back The Bringer Rain, which coincides with reports from earlier in the offseason that said Donaldson would give Atlanta a final chance to match any offer he would accept. But Anthopoulos said, “We felt like it was best for our club to go to a number and not go beyond that to get it done,” and they stuck to their guns, allowing him to sign with the Twins for four years with a fifth-year option.
Immediately, speculation began about what the Braves did offer. From the start of the offseason, there was a belief that Atlanta would be hesitant to hand Donaldson a fourth-year. However, reports from several reputable sources suggested the Braves had four years on the table, which most thought would get the job done. It obviously didn’t, and since the signing, there hasn’t been any confirmation that Atlanta did offer a fourth-year – until today.
David O’Brien of The Athletic tweeted moments ago that the Braves made a four-year offer, but it wasn’t in the same ballpark as the Twins deal that included a fifth-year option which would push the contract over $100 million in value.
By the way, seems some were too quick to seize upon Donaldson signing 4-yr, $92M deal w/ Twins as evidence #Braves didn't offer 4 years, as several of us reported they had. Heard again they did offer 4 yrs, but not comparable to 4th yr w/ Twins that has 5th yr option & $8M buyout
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) January 24, 2020
Anthopoulos also told Jeff Schultz of The Athletic (subscription required to view) that financial restraints placed on him by ownership had nothing to do with Donaldson leaving. The Braves had the ability to hand Josh the same offer the Twins did. As more and more of the information is revealed surrounding the negotiations, it’s becoming evident Anthopoulos placed a value on him – which was clearly pretty high considering they offered him four years – but were unwilling to budge once it got to that point.
Five years and over $100 million is a risk for any player, especially one that is on the wrong side of 30 and has a significant injury history. The Twins made a helluva offer, and perhaps it pays off, but the Braves are in a much safer position and still poised to make a serious run at a World Series with Marcell Ozuna on a one-year pact.