Mark Bradley of the AJC provided some interesting news regarding the process that led to Josh Donaldson signing with the Twins. He had the opportunity to speak with Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who had this to say about why Atlanta decided to move on at third base:
He got a great contract with the Twins. We were given every opportunity to sign him. His agent was fantastic throughout the process. I’ve known Josh for years now, and he deserves this contract. I’m happy for him. Ultimately, we went as far as we thought made sense for us, and it was less than what the Twins offered. I don’t blame him for a minute. It’s a fantastic contract for him. He earned it. Would’ve loved to have him stay a Brave, but we ultimately had to make a decision. We felt like it was best for our club to go to a number and not go beyond that to get it done.
This confirms pretty much everything that we’ve been speculating since Josh signed with the Twins. Atlanta wasn’t interested in his services at that price point and probably never offered a fourth year like it was reported by several sources. Donaldson also had an interview with WSB-TV last week, basically confirming everything Anthopoulos said. There was a substantial difference in the offer the Twins made and it financially made the most sense for Donaldson to head to Minnesota, even if Atlanta was his preferred destination.
Some may call it being cheap, but I’m happy with the way the process turned out. Ozuna is a quality replacement, and while Josh will be missed, he comes at 1/5th of the risk, keeping the Braves’ options for 2021 wide open.