Josh Donaldson invests in himself in 2019. On Monday, Braves announced that they signed the former MVP for a $…
Josh Donaldson invests in himself in 2019. On Monday, Braves announced that they signed the former MVP for a $ 23 million contract. It’s the most expensive one-year deal ever released in free agency and it represents a fascinating gig from Donaldson, which comes from one of his worst season’s career.
Set to be 33 in December, veteran third baseman saw his 2018 lack of injuries, occurring in only 52 matches between Blue Jays and Indians. Worrisomely, that was his lower half – especially a bout of left calf tightness – who held Donaldson on the shelf for the last season. It also contributed to his unsafe end in Toronto. The beloved franchise symbol was traded for almost nothing at the trading deadline in August after meeting a lean .234 / .333 / .423 in 1
59 plates for Jays to go with uncharacteristic shaky defense thanks to a mysterious dead arm.
Donaldson sat up in Cleveland, looked like his old man with the glove and slashed .280 / .400 / .520 down the stretch, but it was over just 60 plates and he immediately entered the tank during a shortened postseason, just collect a hit in 11 ALDS bats. Add all, and he won only 1.2 winnings above (baseball reference version), his lowest since his first full season in majors back 2012. It also marked his third straight year with a decreasing WAR total of 8.5 in his MVP winning 2015 campaign for 7.6 the following year to 4.8 in 17-another season where he fought to stay on the field. TAYLER: MLB’s Donation to Cindy Hyde-Smith Proves Connections Defeat Principle
The problem in the future is that the soft tissue damage in Donald’s legs becomes chronic when he continues to age, deprives him of the force on the plate, the speed of bases and reach of the third base. It probably made a caution for a long-term business and could have hurried on this one-year-old pact with Atlanta, which is more or less his hometown team (he grew up in the Florida pan-trade and went to high school in Alabama before joining Auburn University). And while it is surprising that Donaldson did not play the market anymore, considering that he was the best option in his position in a bad market, it is difficult to argue against $ 23 million for a year’s work, which matches his 2018 salary with toronto
The risk Donaldson takes is double. On the one hand, a bad or badly broken season, one or more occasions can handle a multi-year contract next winter. On the other hand, if he returns to being a productive player, Braves would be able to outweigh his market by marking him with the qualified offer. In addition to this, the second free agent’s third bass next winter will likely include Rockies’ Nolan Arenado and Citizens Anthony Rendon, both of which will be better and younger options for teams that need help with corners.
Still, the odds for Donaldson find long term protection this offseason was probably narrow coming from his rough 2018. As for the pillow contract go you can make much worse than $ 23 million to play for a contender near the home. And although there are disadvantages of Donaldson, whether he has a good season or not, the fear of staying in the open market like so many other players last winter has likely forced him to take a deal rather than later.
For Braves, however, nothing else is up to this contract. There is a chance, and not an insignificant, the last season represents the beginning of the end for Donaldson. It’s hard to feel good about 33-year-olds with bare legs and a hard-knitted, curvilinear kamikaze style, especially with a large number of their peripherals as trends in the wrong direction. In 2018, Donaldson’s ball rate dropped, his swing stroke rate increased, his hard strokes and race speeds dropped both for the third straight season and his average launch angle fell by almost two degrees from the previous year.  After proper astroprediction, a repeat is less fertile
But if Donaldson is 100% -and again it’s a big thing, then it’s not short of a steal for Atlanta. Remember, we’re talking about an elitalong on both sides of the ball – someone on average a .282 / .377 / .524 slash line with a 145 OPS + from 2013 through 17. During these five seasons, only one player sprang up Donaldson’s bWAR -summa of 36.1: Mike Forell. A healthy Donaldson has fewer equivalents over the big even at 75-85%, he is still better than most.
Although Donaldson does not reach the same heights again, he does not represent a huge expense at Atlanta. Braves has only $ 50.87 million in guaranteed money on the books for 2019; even adding in violence through arbitration, it is difficult to imagine breaking the threshold of $ 85 million. Donaldson will take wage fees close to or over $ 100 million, but it is both a decrease of last year’s $ 130 million and a pittance in relation to the league and the franchise’s financial situation.
Per FanGraphs Craig Edwards, Braves-who is owned by Liberty Media with billions of dollars – made a $ 100 million profit last year, with a bad TV contract and stadium presence (at a new park that the team paid close to zero to build thanks to unreasonable state subsidies) ranked outside the top 10. There is no excuse that Atlanta does not spend money, especially in light of MLB’s new $ 5.1 billion television rights deal with Fox Sports as will pay out millions to each team and especially with the team’s young core that plays for cheap.
The bigger wrinkle will be what to do with the existing third bassman Johan Camargo. The 25-year-old panaman was quietly excellent for Atlanta last season and hit .272 / .349 / .457 with 19 homers and one 116 OPS +; Thanks to that and some solid defense, he was worth 3.7 bWAR. He will lose his job to Donaldson, but leave him a little. Atlanta could make him a super-sub, but he has not played much in addition to the third base, with some time at shortstop and other bass but nowhere else. He could get the short-term job over the fierce Dansby Swanson. Or he could be dangled as a trade act, considering not only Donaldson, but also top spectron Austin Riley in the third.
Whatever to do with Camargo is a good problem to have if you’re Braves. But they can not stop at Donaldson. (Nor was he the only one in the day: Earlier Monday, the team took back veteran detainee Brian McCann in a year, $ 2 million to pair with Tyler Flowers behind the plate.) The biggest hole is currently corrected, moved by free agent Nick Markakis , and Atlanta can also use bullpen help.
Donaldson is a good start. He will form an impressive top of the order with Ronald Acuña, Jr. and Freddie Freeman and add some veteran leadership to a young clubhouse, and he does it relatively cheaply and without long-term commitment. No matter how you cut it, it’s a big win for Braves. For Donaldson, it remains to be seen.