From the Department of No Duh: Jon Heyman reports that the Braves will attempt to re-sign third baseman Josh Donaldson this offseason.
And to be clear, it’s not “no duh” that they would try to re-sign him. It’s no-duh that they should do so.
Last year Atlanta signed Donaldson to what was, essentially, a high-priced make-good deal, agreeing to a one-year, $23 million pact. There was risk there, of course, as Donaldson had missed much of the previous two seasons with injury and there was no guarantee that he’d be healthy in 2019. He was, however, and hit .259/.369/.509 with 37 homers and 94 RBI over 155 games. His bat and his still-excellent glove were huge reasons the Braves were able to repeat as NL East champions.
Having shown he’s still a high-caliber performer makes re-signing Donaldson a good idea, but he will obviously command multi-year offers from multiple suitors this offseason. The Braves’ general desire to have Donaldson back has been pretty clear since at least the middle of the season, but it’s been some time since they have chosen to out-bid other clubs for high-profile free agents. We’ll see how strong that desire truly is over the next couple of months.
In the meantime, expect them to make him a qualifying offer, which would pay him $17.8 million in 2020. Expect Donaldson to reject it too, after which the real fun will begin.