With the postseason almost at its end, the Atlanta Braves off-season can finally get underway. It is an off-season that will be defined by this season’s third baseman Josh Donaldson.
Josh Donaldson started out slow for the Atlanta Braves but once he got hot he helped carry this Atlanta offense. He protected Freddie Freeman, played gold glove level defense, and provided power and swagger this team needed.
If they lose Donaldson this team will be going in reverse. They can survive the rest of their free-agent departures but they need Donaldson.
Josh finished the year hitting .259 with 37-homers and 94-runs driven in. He was clutch down the stretch and played defense at a level fans haven’t seen since Chipper Jones.
Signing Donaldson isn’t going to be cheap but if this team wants to continue to be a World Series caliber roster they need Donaldson on it. They lack the top of the rotation pitching to carry their offense.
With Donaldson, Atlanta has a top-four as good as any lineup in the game. Without him, the Braves do not have an answer at the hot corner.
As good as Austin Riley was in his first month his struggles the rest of the season leaves Atlanta with zero confidence Riley could take over.
If Atlanta signs Donaldson and replacement level players at other positions of need the off-season will be a win. If they cannot who else will Atlanta have or sign to replace his production? There isn’t another option to protect Freddie Freeman.
Atlanta will need to sign a catcher, outfielder, and bullpen help as well leaving them limited money considering their inability to field a big payroll.
Spending big at every position isn’t an option but Atlanta must spend at third base. Bringing Josh Donaldson back is the move to make for a team that is going to need all the help they can get.