Early in the off-season, there has been a lot of chatter surrounding free agent Josh Donaldson. Despite the interest, he is generating Atlanta needs to remain focused on bringing the veteran back to the Braves roster.
The Atlanta Braves have a lot of roster spots to fill this off-season none more important than deciding who will start at third base. Josh Donaldson was their third baseman for the 2019 seasons and should be signed once again.
Atlanta is going to have to pay a high price this time around, however. Donaldson has generated interest from the Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, and the Phillies. Having Donaldson sign within their own division would be a disaster.
It simply can not happen if Atlanta wants to continue to head in the right direction. Donaldson does too many things for this roster that don’t show up in the stats.
His leadership and swagger fit perfectly with this young team. He protects Freddie Freeman better than any option on the market and gives Atlanta a stalwart at third base.
His postseason production was disheartening but he did too much for this team to put too much weight behind his postseason production. Atlanta needs Donaldson more than any other position.
You can always find pitching at the trading deadline but a third baseman of Donaldson’s caliber is unlikely to be on the market. That is why Atlanta’s focus this off-season should simply be bringing back Josh Donaldson.
Not to say they shouldn’t look at other positions only that their focus should be on bringing back this important piece first.
Without Donaldson, this team can contend but the lineup is certainly weaker and facing a lot more questions. Putting Nick Markakis behind Freddie is no longer an option and there isn’t another hitter on this roster who fits the 4th spot in the lineup.
It is going to cost Atlanta dearly but bringing back Donaldson is a move Atlanta must make and one that will solidify this off-season as a successful one for Atlanta.