The Braves entered the offseason with a clear need to improve their lineup, and on Monday the club did that by adding the powerful right-handed bat of third baseman Josh Donaldson on a one-year, $23 million deal. The 32-year-old is coming off an injury-plagued season in 2018, but in the five years preceding, Donaldson was among the most valuable players in baseball and garnered an MVP Award in 2015 as a member of the Blue Jays. While injuries may have mired what had been a dominant run for Donaldson, his presence should allow the Braves to be more creative in their lineup construction going forward. Chalk this up as a win for the Braves, even if it’s merely on paper for now.
Following the Josh Donaldson signing, our own Demetrius Bell offered his own thoughts on the move and what it means for the club for the remainder of the offseason.
This also helps out the depth of the squad, which brings me to the second big question: What happens to Johan Camargo? There are a couple of options here and none of them involve him starting at third base. Unless Donaldson continues to struggle mightily with injury, the hot corner belongs to Donaldson for now. Camargo will either move to the bench in a bit of a super utility role or if the rest of the offseason goes sideways, they could stick him in the outfield. He has very limited experience as a major leaguer in the outfield — and by “very limited” I mean a grand total of one inning as a left fielder — but his bat plays well enough to where if the Braves do indeed go with this outfield, you’d have to include him.
Another prominent need for the Braves this offseason existed behind the plate, where the departure of free agent Kurt Suzuki left the club with only Tyler Flowers as a legitimate option for next season. That need was also addressed on Monday as the Braves signed Brian McCann to a one-year, $2 million deal. This move is sensible from a baseball perspective, but carries the added bonus of strengthening the clubhouse and the sentiments of long-time fans who have watched the franchise toil in mediocrity since McCann left the Braves following the 2013 season. Bringing back a “Baby Brave” all these years later is certainly a cool way to usher in a new wave of contention for Atlanta, and addresses a dire need in the process. Another thumbs up for this one.
To create roster space for the signings noted above, the Braves designated two players, Ricardo Sanchez and Adam McCreery for assignment on Monday.
Some food for thought as the Braves add one of the better bats on the market to an already impressive collection of infielders.
Yeah, how will they counter the Braves adding an MVP and a seven-time All-Star?
A few rumors from around the league.