Shortly after signing catcher Brian McCann to a one-year, $2 Million deal, the Atlanta Braves signed third baseman Josh Donaldson to a one-year, $23 million deal, making it a big Monday for the Braves.
The 32-year-old former American League Most Valuable Player Award winner hit .246 with eight home runs and 23 runs batted in through 52 games for the Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays last season.
While Donaldson has struggled to stay healthy, when he is healthy, he is easily one of the best in baseball. The slugger hit .270 with 33 home runs and 78 runs batted in over the course of just 113 games during an injury-shortened 2017 season and was a centerpiece of Toronto’s incredible offense that carried the team to playoff appearences in 2015 and 2016. Donaldson led the league with 41 home runs and 123 RBIs while winning the American League Most Valuable Player Award in 2015.
This signing causes concern for 24-year-old Johan Camargo’s situation after being the Braves’ third baseman in 2018. Camargo, who had a breakout season at third base, hit .272 with 19 homers and 76 runs batted in. It is possible that Camargo will either move to the outfield or work as a utility man behind Donaldson, Dansby Swanson, and Ozzie Albies.
This move could be a good one on both sides of the ball with the Braves getting a superstar if Donaldson stays healthy and Donaldson getting another crack at free agency after an unimpressive 2018 season. If Donaldson doesn’t perform, the Braves still have Camargo and Donaldson keeps his $23 Million. Making this a solid deal with high upside for both parties.