5. Signing Josh Donaldson
Alex Anthopoulos took a big chance by signing Josh Donaldson in 2019. Coming off back-to-back injury-plagued seasons, it was thought that the former AL MVP was damaged goods who would never reach the heights of his MVP-winning season. Despite his injury history, Anthopoulos took a chance on a guy he had a previous relationship while with Toronto when AA traded for the third basemen from Oakland. The chance paid off for AA and Donaldson.
Before signing Donaldson, the Braves had a massive hole in the middle of the lineup behind Freddie Freeman. Nick Markakis filled in the role in 2018 to mixed results. Bringing in Donaldson would provide protection for Freeman and add a power bat to the lineup the Braves haven’t had in a very long time.
In his one season with the Braves, Donaldson stayed healthy, playing 155 games out of the 162. Donaldson would hit 37 home runs and 94 RBI while carrying the Braves offense late in the season. It was a short union between Donaldson and the Braves, but a fruitful one nonetheless. Donaldson would leave in the offseason to sign a long-term deal with the Minnesota Twins. The Braves won the NL East with Donaldson playing third and backing up Freddie. All in all, a solid deal for both parties.