As expected, the Atlanta Braves issued a qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson on Monday. The offer is a one-year, $17.8 million deal that Donaldson will assuredly turn down so that he can seek a multi-year deal after re-establishing his value during his one season in Atlanta. By rejecting the qualifying offer, the Braves will in turn receive draft pick compensation should Donaldson sign elsewhere.
Atlanta is expected to try and keep Donaldson so issuing the qualifying offer may not be much more than a formality. However, you need look no further that last offseason to see how much of a deterrent draft pick compensation can be in free agency as it left both Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel without a deal until June.
After a pair of injury plagued seasons, Donaldson signed a one-year $23 million deal with the Braves last November in hopes of showing that he still had some production left in the tank. He did just that hitting .259/.379/.521 with 37 home runs, 33 doubles and a 132 wRC+ while playing Gold Glove caliber defense at third base. Donaldson finished second on the team in fWAR with 4.9 trailing only Ronald Acuña Jr.
Donaldson will be the first Braves player to receive a qualifying offer since Ervin Santana in 2014. He rejected the offer and went on to sign a four-year, $55 million deal with the Minnesota Twins which in turn gave Atlanta the 28th pick in the 2015 Draft which they used to select Mike Soroka.
The Braves also issued qualifying offers to Brian McCann in 2013 and Michael Bourn in 2012. Both rejected and went on to sign multi-year deals with the Yankees and Indians respectively. Atlanta drafted Jason Hursh and Braxton Davidson with those comp picks.