During his brief time as General Manager in Atlanta, Alex Anthopoulos has shown a tendency to want former Blue Jays. First with Ezequiel Carrera…then Jose Bautista…and yesterday with the signing of Josh Donaldson.
Anthopoulos is banking that the oft-injured Donaldson has one last great season left in him. And if the 3-time all-star can manage to remain healthy, that may very well be the case. Anthopoulos and the Braves inked Donaldson to a 1-year/$23 million deal. It’s a win-win for both Atlanta and Donaldson. Sure it’s a lot of money for someone who missed 2/3 of last season. But if Donaldson can regain the form that made him such a force from 2013-2017, it’ll be money well spent.
Four years ago, Donaldson was the player Anthopoulos had targeted to put the Blue Jays over the top. With an extremely talented roster already in Atlanta that includes Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, Johan Camargo, and Ender Inciarte, the addition of Donaldson transforms the Braves into one of the scariest offenses in all of baseball.
In order to put an end to Toronto’s 21-year playoff drought, Anthopoulos’ approach was to bring-in talented veterans who still had a little something left in the tank. Hence he went out and signed Russell Martin and traded for Troy Tulowitzki. And that’s exactly what he’s doing yet again to build-up the Braves by signing Donaldson and catcher Brian McCann.
Some Blue Jay fans might be wondering, if Donaldson was willing to sign for just a one year deal, why didn’t Toronto simply hold onto him in the hope that he may have accepted a qualifying offer. Firstly, after the season Vladimir Guerrero was having, there was no way anyone but him would play the majority of games for the Blue Jays next season at 3rd base. Secondly, whatever happened these past two years with how Donaldson’s injuries were handled, it created a serious divide between Toronto and the 2015 MVP. A valuable lesson the Blue Jays can hopefully learn from in order to avoid such an event from happening again anytime soon.