When the Atlanta Braves first added third baseman, Josh Donaldson, he was thought to be a placeholder for one season. Now with the Braves offense clicking, they need to explore the possibility of resigning Donaldson.
After a slow start, Donaldson is raking helping the Atlanta Braves offense become what appears to be the most complete lineup in baseball. He is hitting .249 so far this season but has provided a lot more value at the plate then his average might suggest.
Donaldson has 17-homers so far and constantly poses a threat at the plate. Extending Donaldson is a great move to make considering how well he has fit in Atlanta.
Keeping Austin Riley in left field shouldn’t be a problem for Atlanta. While he was expected to be the third baseman of the future his defense has never been his specialty and he is very serviceable in left field.
Improving each game this season Riley is more than capable of starting a full season in left field. For Donaldson, the question will be how much the veteran expects and how many years? We have seen that Atlanta is very hesitant to overpay veterans on multi-year deals.
Signing Donaldson to a two-year deal at a slightly higher rate than he would make on a longer-term deal seems the most likely scenario.
Defensively Donaldson plays at a high level at the hot corner. Keeping his glove on the Braves infield would be a great move for a team whose only other key free agent (Brian McCann) is looking increasingly likely to return as well.
It should be an interesting off-season for a team who has put together a championship caliber roster full of one-year deals.
Of those deals, Josh Donaldson must be their priority. He is key to the Braves lineup succeeding and giving them a legitimate cleanup hitter they have lacked in seasons past.