Josh Donaldson reportedly wants 4 years and $110 million
Ken Rosenthal reported Friday that free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson has told interested teams, including the Braves, what he wants in a new contract.
Rosenthal wrote, “He has informed teams of his desired guarantee and is simply waiting for one of the clubs to hit his number, sources say. That number is believed to be in the $110 million range.”
That could explain why Donaldson is still on the free agent market. Donaldson is 34 years old, so will teams want to pay him an average of $27.5 million while he is 35, 36 and 37 years old?
The Braves probably cannot go that high in their proposal. If they have, as reported, given Donaldson a four-year offer, it’s likely below the $100 million range, which was what was believed to be Donaldson’s asking price before Rosenthal reported it to be $10 million higher on Friday.
Freddie Freeman will be due a new contract after the 2021 season. He’s making $22 million this season and next year, so he’ll likely want a new deal over that amount. Freeman will be mostly 30 years old this season, and that means his new contract in 2022 would start when he is 32.
Would the Braves really want to commit that much money to Donaldson and then Freeman, when both players would be in their mid-late 30s?
It’s unlikely. Therefore, either Donaldson’s price is going to have to come down, or he will likely be suiting up for another team in 2020.
The Braves need to move on at some point. They need to give Donaldson a drop-dead price and if he says no, the Braves need to walk away. Alex Anthopoulos and his front office will need to get this team ready for a season in which the fans will have high expectations.