The Atlanta Braves want Josh Donaldson back -- like really, really, bad.
And we can't say we blame them. Donaldson's an MVP, three-time All Star and last year smacked 37 homers and 94 RBIs. He can provide pop to any team's lineup, and Atlanta, well aware of this, is pulling out all the stops to retain the self dubbed "bringer of rain."
These "stops" include money, guaranteed playing time, and a huge chunk of change for a signing bonus. Now, they include an extra year in his contract, and if security isn't enough to keep Donaldson in the ATL, there's probably nothing that will be.
According to former Reds and Nationals general manager Jim Bowden, Atlanta is stepping away from their three-year tendencies for Donaldson.
"I have a source on the Donaldson side that has told me the Braves have gone to four years," Bowden told MLB Network's Leadoff show. "But my understanding is that both the Nationals and the Braves, along with the Twins have gone to four.”
Bowden also suggested that other teams, namely the Mets and Phillies, were a part of the hotly contested bidding war for Donaldson. Money, years and fit all remain crucial factors, and per Bowden's knowledge, the financial portion is only going up.
“I had originally thought three years and $75 (million). I quickly pivoted and went four at $100 million, and then I went to 4 at $112, and now I’m not sure it isn’t more than that," Bowden said.
One thing remains for sure though: Donaldson is one of the most sought-after talents in this free agency class, and All-Star production at the hot corner is one of the MLB's most urgent needs. Anthony Rendon got seven years, $210-215 million, and while Donaldson won't bring in that kind of dough, he deserves a substantial amount.