6

Josh Donaldson hopes to spend rest of career with Braves

“We were looking for a middle-of-the-order bat,” general manager Alex Anthopoulos said after a news conference at SunTrust Park less than 24 hours after the team announced the signing of catcher Brian McCann. “We had to find a way to get it done.”

Donaldson was looking for a team that would pay him big bucks while giving him a chance to show he’s healthy after three injury-plagued seasons. He’ll make the same salary he received this past season, while setting himself up for a much more lucrative deal if he returns to MVP form.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Plus, he gets to play with his favorite team from childhood. Donaldson is a native of Pensacola, Florida, and he played his college baseball at Auburn, about a two-hour drive from SunTrust Park.6

“I was a huge Braves fan coming up,” he said. “My very first favorite player was Ron Gant. It’s a very full circle from coming to my very first Braves game, my first major league baseball game, when I was about 12 years old to now being 32 years old [next week], being able to wear this jersey and wear it with pride.”

By committing to Donaldson for only one year, the NL East-winning Braves addressed their top priority while leaving themselves plenty of financial flexibility beyond 2019. They have some of the most talented young players in the game, led by NL Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna Jr., and didn’t want to make a move that impeded their long-term progress.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

“I think it’s a win-win across the board,” Anthopoulos said. “We love Josh. We’re thrilled to have him. But it’s a one-year deal. Beyond one year, we don’t know what’s going to happen, other than we hope we’re pouring champagne over each other’s heads and he’s had an MVP year again. It would be a good problem to have.”

Donaldson was AL MVP in 2015 after hitting 41 homers and leading the league with 123 RBIs in his first year with the Blue Jays. He was acquired from Oakland in a blockbuster deal engineered by Anthopoulos, who was then Toronto’s general manager.