The wait continued on Tuesday for Josh Donaldson with little to no movement. The Atlanta Braves are still regarded as the favorite to land Donaldson by people around the league but no decision has yet to be made. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman assessed where things stand with Donaldson and the Braves and did his best to connect some dots.
Some industry sources doubt the Braves have come close to making what stands as the top offer. All things being equal, it has been assumed Donaldson would return to Atlanta. At the same time, the 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Award winner has the right to continue waiting with the hope that he will eventually get what he is seeking.
For what it is worth, the Braves, Nationals and Twins were thought to be the three teams in the race to sign Donaldson. A report out of Minnesota on Monday suggested that the club had become pessimistic about their chances to land the free agent slugger. The Nationals may very well have come close to Donaldson’s reported asking price of $110 million but given their history there is reason to suspect that the deal may included deferred money. Washington also in the last few days have inked veteran infielder Starlin Castro, Asdrubal Cabrera and Eric Thames after re-signing Howie Kendrick earlier this offseason. They haven’t declared themselves to be out of the running yet but it certainly appears that they have moved on.
Perhaps Donaldson is waiting for a team such as the Rangers or the Dodgers to jump back in. All things equal, a reunion seems like the best fit for Donaldson and the Braves but for now the wait continues.
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MLB.com’s Will Leitch ranks the five most likely teams to ultimately land Donaldson. Atlanta tops the list and is followed by the Nationals and the Twins.
ESPN’s Buster Olney continue his series of Top 10 players at each position with a look at shortstop on Tuesday. Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor tops the list and is followed by Oakland’s Marcus Semien. Atlanta’s Dansby Swanson was listed as an honorable mention.
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Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Houston Astros use of illegal technology to steal signs is in its final stages according to a report by ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Punishment is expected to come for employees of the team including front office and coaching personnel but will not include any players. Per the report, members of the Houston organization expect commissioner Rob Manfred to decide on the severity of punishment in the next two weeks.
In addition, new reporting by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich indicates that the Boston Red Sox may have a sign stealing scandal of their own. Per Tuesday’s report, three different sources told The Athletic that some Red Sox players would visit the video replay room during games to learn the sign sequence that opponents were using. The report also states that other clubs might have committed similar violations but could not be confirmed at this time.
Veteran reliever Steve Cishek agreed to a one-year deal with the Chicago White Sox that also includes a club option for 2021. Cishek will be guaranteed $6 million on the deal.
Finally, the Philadelphia Phillies inked veteran infielder Ronald Torreyes and former Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt to minor league deals that include invites to spring training. Bethancourt played in Korea in 2019 and last played in the majors back in 2017 with the Padres.