• The Braves haven't made the larges off for Donaldson, leaving them skeptical of their chances
  • The Twins, meanwhile, are becoming more comfortable with the idea of losing him
  • Finally, the Nationals may win the race for Donaldson despite being close to the luxury tax threshold

A pair of reports have just surfaced which cast doubts over the ability of either the Atlanta Braves or Minnesota Twins to land Josh Donaldson, suggesting that the Washington Nationals are the favorites to sign the third baseman.

According to Darren Wolfson of 1500 SKOR North radio in Minneapolis, the Twins are in near-constant contact with Josh Donaldson, suggesting some really serious interest. However, as a small-market club, the Twins just don’t have the same spending power as other suitors.

Wolfson reports that although Minnesota is still in the mix, and have made a four-year approach which the player wants, they haven’t made the largest offer and are likely around the $85 million mark. That’s well below the $110 million that Donaldson wants.

Josh Donaldson Toronto Blue Jays
Josh Donaldson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts after being called out on strikes in the third inning during MLB game action against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Rogers Centre on May 23, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Meanwhile,’s Mark Bowman reports that the Atlanta Braves have not tabled the largest offer for the free agent third baseman. Bowman also writes that the player is interested in a reunion which produced 37 home runs and 94 RBIs last season, although money is likely going to be the determining factor.

The Braves and Twins represent two of the three known suitors of Donaldson, with the Washington Nationals being the third. The defending World Series champions were keen on bringing back Anthony Rendon along with Stephen Strasburg, but couldn’t tempt the former.

That leaves them with a hot at the hot corner and at least some money to spend. They have brought in a number of other players this winter, including infielders Howie Kendrick, Asdrubal Cabrera and Starlin Castro, which has pushed their resources.

Bowman reports that their 2020 payroll now sits near the $200 million mark, just $8 million short of MLB’s luxury tax threshold. Even so, they have not yet withdrawn an offer of their own. Should the Nats land Donaldson, it would likely be on deferred money which they have made use of several times over the last decade.

These three are very much viewed by industry experts as being the three likeliest teams to sign Donaldson, but they each have issues to face before completing any such deal. Perhaps that will leave an opening for a different team to exploit.

One club looking for right-handed power is the Los Angeles Dodgers who have also explored trades for Nolan Arenado and Francisco Lindor. However, as of right now, the Washington Nationals are favorites to sign Donaldson.