The Atlanta Braves have signed former Toronto Blue Jays All-Star and 2015 American League MVP Josh Donaldson to a one-year deal worth $23 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Donaldson is reunited with Atlanta general manager Alex Anthopolous, the same man who brought the 33-year-old over to Toronto via trade with the Oakland Athletics four years earlier.
Nagging calf injuries limited Donaldson to just 52 games in the 2018 season, which diminished his trade and free agent value. The Blue Jays dealt Donaldson to the Cleveland Indians at the deadline for a minor league pitcher. Certainly not enough for one of the game's elite all-around players.
Donaldson finished 2018 with a .246 batting average and .801 OPS, clubbing eight home runs and 23 RBI. He helped the Indians win the AL Central division title for a third straight year, but they were swept by the Houston Astros in the ALDS.
A three-time All-Star, Donaldson joins an Atlanta team that won the NL East title this past season, before losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. The Braves are loaded with young talent all over the roster, so Donaldson should be a terrific addition to an up-and-coming Atlanta team.
That takes one premier free agent off the market, and the Braves got the stalwart third baseman and hitter at a reasonable price.
What This Means
Given his age and recent injury history, Donaldson entered free agency with a diminished value. Donaldson is betting on himself to reset his value for 2019 free agency, where he can hopefully stay healthy, perform like a superstar and land a bigger contract next winter.
The Braves are suited well to compete for a World Series championship in 2019, and Donaldson only adds to it. If he can stay healthy, the 33-year-old will be one of the best bargain signings of the 2018 offseason.