As the Atlanta Braves get set to face their old teammate for the first time since he signed with the Minnesota Twins, Josh Donaldson gave us some insight into his offseason.
You won't find many fans who didn't love the JD experience in 2019 and wanted nothing more than to see the Braves bring him back.
While there are some (like myself) who were worried about signing him to a long deal, even I now am worried about losing his presence in the lineup and in the clubhouse.
Before Wednesday's game against the Twins, Braves' beat writers caught up with Donaldson to talk about what transpired over the offseason.
In the interview, Donaldson talks about how he tried to take a methodical approach to the offseason and put his emotions aside, but even throughout the interview, you can tell he wanted to come back to Atlanta and was even surprised by their late attempt to sign him.
He said that Freddie Freeman was talking to him throughout the offseason and I'm sure trying to recruit him.
Another interesting note from David O'Brien of The Atletic says that the retirement of Brian McCann played into his decision. I'm kind of glad McCann isn't with the Braves because of the media circus that would be surrounding him and the team, but if that's what it would have taken to get JD back it might have been worth the headache.
At the end of the day, as we all know by now, Donaldson says he had to do what was best for him and his family -- meaning take the most money and years -- and he signed a four-year deal with the Twins worth at least $92 million and he can make as much as $100 with a fifth-year team option.
While I certainly have confidence in Riley and/or Camargo playing well, I'm certainly going to miss seeing JD picking it over at third and protecting Freeman in the lineup.
Marcell Ozuna has the ability to protect Freeman, but not like JD. And Ozuna isn't near the defensive player in the outfield that JD is at third.
Only time will tell if the Braves made the right decision by not upping their offer to JD, but watching this interview just made me realize how much I fell in love with him last year and how much I'm going to miss seeing him in a Braves' uniform.