Atlanta Braves blink first in Josh Donaldson standoff

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 09: Josh Donaldson #20 of the Atlanta Braves hits a solo home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the fourth inning in game five of the National League Division Series at SunTrust Park on October 09, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 09: Josh Donaldson #20 of the Atlanta Braves hits a solo home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the fourth inning in game five of the National League Division Series at SunTrust Park on October 09, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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Josh Donaldson may get his wish of returning to the Atlanta Braves, as they have blinked in their contract offer standoff.

It is seemingly a match ready to be made. Josh Donaldson wants to return to the Atlanta Braves. The Braves want to retain Josh Donaldson. With Donaldson still waiting in free agency, despite several four year contract offers, his desired destination is obvious.

At this point, it was seemingly a matter of whether or not the Braves would blink and give Donaldson a fourth year. The Twins and Nationals reportedly have four year offers on the table, but the Braves held firm. Three years were as far as they were willing to go. Someone would need to blink, or Donaldson would need to pick his second choice.

It appears as though the Braves have blinked first. According to David O’Brien of the Atlantic, the Braves have given Donaldson the fourth year he desires. Mark Fiensand of MLB.com further stated that all three deals are in the same area, between $90 and $100 million.

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If this is indeed the case, it seems to be a matter of time before Donaldson officially returns to Atlanta. He had indicated that the Braves would have the opportunity to match any offers he received, showing his preference. As he waited on those other offers, his words proved to be true.

One can easily see why the Braves would want to bring Donaldson back. He filled a major void in the middle of the lineup and at the hot corner, bringing a valued veteran presence to the lineup. In his 659 plate appearances, Donaldson produced a .259/.379/.521 batting line, hitting 33 doubles and 37 homers while playing above average defense.

Obviously, there are risks in such a deal. Donaldson is 34 years old, conceivably past his theoretical prime. He has had injury troubles in the past, despite being healthy in 2019. Four years, especially at that kind of price, is a major commitment to make to an aging player. Yet, this is a deal the Braves may need to make.

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The Atlanta Braves have given in, offering Josh Donaldson a fourth year. Now, it is time to see how serious Donaldson is about returning to the Braves.