Free-agent third baseman Josh Donaldson has agreed to a one-year, $23 million contract with the Braves, multiple sources told MLB.com's Mark Bowman on Monday. The club has not confirmed the deal, which is pending a physical.
That salary is the same Donaldson earned last season with the Blue Jays and Indians. The short-term deal limits Atlanta's risk in investing in the oft-injured third baseman, and it allows Donaldson to prove his health and re-enter free agency next offseason, which was said to be his preference.
He was ineligible for a qualifying offer this year since he was traded midseason. However, if he spends all of 2019 with Atlanta, he can get a qualifying offer from the Braves next winter since he has never received one before.
Donaldson, who turns 33 next month, split the 2018 season between Toronto and Cleveland. He missed much of the year with a left calf injury and batted .246/.352/.449 in 52 games.
His production improved upon his trade to the Indians -- he slashed .280/.400/.520 with three home runs in 16 regular-season games -- but he never got going in the postseason, going 1-for-11 with four strikeouts in the American League Division Series loss to the Astros.
The former AL Most Valuable Player is just two years removed from his last All-Star campaign. And he now joins a Braves club that won 90 games and also captured the National League East title for the first time since 2013.
Also on Monday, Atlanta signed free-agent catcher Brian McCann to a one-year deal. McCann previously played for the Braves from 2005-13.