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MLB Free Agency: Josh Donaldson sweepstakes heating up following Anthony Rendon signing with Angels

Donaldson figures to be the next star to get paid this winter. Will it be the Braves signing the check?

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Divisional Series - St Louis Cardinals v Atlanta Braves - Game Five Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The last 72 hours have seen Stephen Strasburg, Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon all sign for upwards of seven years and $235 million. While it won’t be quite the same pay day for Josh Donaldson, the league has shifted its attention to the star third baseman, including the Braves.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, there are five teams seen as legitimate suitors for Donaldson: the Braves, Nationals, Ranger, Dodgers and Twins. Rosenthal does not mention the Phillies here, but they have been tied to Donaldson as well.

Rosenthal writes, “All things being equal, Donaldson’s preference is to return to the Braves, according to sources with knowledge of his thinking. But in free agency, all things are not necessarily equal. This contract almost certainly will be Donaldson’s last big deal, and he is seeking the largest possible guarantee, sources say.

What Rosenthal reported above – the Braves are believed to be his preference and he wants as much money as possible – is not groundbreaking news, but it does confirm what many have felt over the first six weeks of the offseason.

Donaldson checks so many boxes for the Braves (power hitter, third baseman, clubhouse fit) and a reunion makes the offseason feel like a home run for Alex Anthopoulos and Co. All it takes is one team to blow things open, though, and with it being JD’s last chance at a big pay day no one would blame him if he opts to take more money elsewhere.

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