Josh Donaldson, Brian McCann Sign with Braves | Def Pen
Josh Donalson
Josh Donaldson (Ed Zurga/Getty Images North America)

Josh Donaldson is bringing the rain to Atlanta. The former AL MVP has reportedly agreed to join the Atlanta Braves on a one-year deal to prove he might still have something to offer not only at the plate but also at third base.

Donaldson, 32, is coming up on 10 years in the major leagues and his career has been on a steady decline since his breakout 2015 campaign. In that season, he racked up his second of three career All-Star appearances, his first of two Silver Slugger awards, the Hank Aaron Award and he also led the AL in runs and RBIs to cap off his MVP season.

Since then his home run total dropped from 41 in 2015 to 37 in 2016, 33 in 2017 and eight total in 2018 splitting time with the Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians after he was traded midseason. He only recored 52 total games played last season due to injury. Donaldson was also diagnosed with ‘dead arm syndrome’ as the 2018 season started.

It appears that the relationship Josh Donaldson has with former Blue Jays general manager and current Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos is still very strong from their Toronto days based on the huge one year deal he received.

Following comes from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The Braves also signed Brian McCann today, a catcher who spent the first eight years of his career in Atlanta before he joined the New York Yankees on a huge deal in 2013. McCann was long considered the best catcher in MLB for a while during the end of his tenure with the Braves going into his run with the Yankees. McCann also joined the Houston Astros for the last two seasons, winning the World Series in 2017.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic also broke the news of McCann’s signing and shared some quotes from his agent about McCann’s return to Atlanta.

McCann has been named an All-Star seven times in his career, six times he was given the Silver Slugger and he also won the All-Star game MVP in 2010.

These short deals for veterans trying to get one last chance shouldn’t block any future prospects or prevent the Braves from going back on the open market next winter if they need to. McCann should presumably start at catcher replacing Kurt Suzuki.

Top prospects like Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna and veteran stud Freddie Freeman should benefit from these additions, especially on the offensive end. But the immediate concern for Braves fans was the future of infielders Dansby Swanson and Johan Camargo. Camargo spent a majority of his time last year at third base, the position Josh Donaldson will presumably fill when he officially joins the team. The early speculation is that Camargo would take over for Swanson at shortstop but the more likely scenario would be seeing Camargo in the outfield with Swanson remaining at short.

Either way you slice it, the defending NL East champions are making some early splashes in free agency this offseason. They still have money to play with and could easily include any of these young prospects in a future trade for some pitching or another big name position player. Atlanta seems like their poised to win more than the division next year.


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