ATLANTA – Josh Donaldson needed Braves. Braves needed Donaldson.
So this combination looks great.
The third baseman was officially introduced on Tuesday by Atlanta Braves, his favorite team as a child. Donaldson reached a one-year agreement and $ 23 million dollars, providing the flexibility required by both parties.
"We were looking for a batch for the temporary part of our ranking," said general manager Alex Anthopoulos after a press conference at SunTrust Park, less than 24 hours after the club announced the reception of the receiver, Brian McCann. "We had to find a way to do it."
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Donaldson was looking for a team to pay him a substantial amount of money and gave him the opportunity to show he was healthy after three injured campaigns. He will get the same salary he has won in the last season and could be placed in a good position to sign a more lucrative deal if he returns to the form he was once named the Most Valuable Player.
In addition, you can play with the team you supported as a child. Donaldson originally came from Pensacola in Florida and played track baseball in Auburn, about two hours from SunTrust Park by car.
"I was a big fan of Braves," he remembered. "My first favorite player was Ron Gant, it's been a circle since I came to my first Braves game, my first big league game when I was about 12 years old, and I'll be 32 (next week) and I'll be able to wear this sweater and doing it with pride. "
Braves's commitment to Braves is a priority, and he maintains sufficient financial flexibility after 2019. Atlanta, the Eastern League National League champion, has some of the most talented youths in large groups, the Venezuelan Ronald Acuña Jr, who won the Rookie of the Year award in the old circuit.
Under these circumstances, Braves did not want to carry out a transaction that would slow down their long-term progress.
"I think it's a good thing," Anthopoulos said. "We love Josh We are thrilled to have it But it's an agreement for a year We do not know what happens in the year except that we expect champagne in our head and we hope it will have a year again the most valuable player, then we would have a very desirable problem. "
Donaldson was the most valuable player in the American League in 2015, when his first year hit 41 houses and led the circuit with 123 RBI. Tiles from Toronto. It was obtained from Oakland Athletics through a colossal agreement invented by Anthopoulos, who was then the Managing Director of Toronto.
While Donaldson had two more seasons with more than 30 homers, hip injuries in 2016, and the right calf in 2017 reduced his production.
In the last campaign, he limited himself to 52 matches due to shoulder inflammation and body problems. He attacked .246 with just eight homers and 23 RBIs.
He was loaned out in a shop to Cleveland Indians on August 31 and played 16 matches with the Indians, enough to convince the Braves that he had recovered from his many ailments.
"The size of the sample was small, but it looked fantastic," Anthopoulos said. "He looked like Josh, we always knew, one of the best in this sport."