ATLANTA, Ga – Tuesday night was not a good one for Braves fans as Josh Donaldson, who reportedly signed a four year deal with the Minnesota Twins. Donaldson appeared in 155 games with the Braves in 2019 with 37 homers and 34 doubles, while playing Gold Glove caliber defense at the hot corner. It felt like as the offseason progressed that the Braves would be the front runner in the Donaldson sweepstakes, but there was likely some hesitancy when Minnesota offered that fourth year guarantee.
So, now that Donaldson is off the board, where do the Braves go from here? For now, it seems as though Johan Camargo would be the most likely fit at third base while the club pursues power from a corner outfielder. Austin Riley is also a possibility, but in a perfect world, the Braves have said all along they’d like him to get a bit more seasoning at Triple-A before bringing him back to the Big Leagues.
Nolan Arenado and Kris Bryant’s names have been floated out there in trade rumors over the past few months, but it seems far-fetched that the club would go ahead and part with a number of top prospects for two players who could walk after the 2021 season. Marcell Ozuna and Nicholas Castellanos are still available on the free agent market and could fit the mold of what the club is looking for, serving as the right handed options to platoon with Nick Markakis in left. The club could also look to move an Ender Inciarte in a larger package to potentially get that right handed bat. Regardless of which direction they go, the cleanup spot in the order is a glaring weakness for the two time defending NL East champs. Donaldson would’ve filled both the third base and cleanup needs, but now that he’s off the board, Alex Anthopoulos and the Front Office has to move quickly with Spring Training now less than a month away.
Kevin McAlpin has covered the Braves since 2012 for @680TheFan and the @BravesRadioNet