The Braves needed Josh Donaldson.Call this one a perfect match.The slugging third baseman was officially introduced to Atlanta on Tuesday Max Kepler Jersey
, joining the team he cheered for as a youngster. Donaldson agreed to a $23 million, one-year deal that provides the sort of flexibility both sides wanted.“We were looking for a middle-of-the-order bat,” general manager Alex Anthopoulos said after a news conference at SunTrust Park, less than 24 hours after the team announced the signing of catcher Brian McCann .“We had to find a way to get it done.”Donaldson was looking for a team that would pay him big bucks, while giving him a chance to show he’s healthy after three injury-plagued seasons. He’ll make the same salary he received this past season, while setting himself up for a much more lucrative deal if he returns to MVP form.Plus, he gets to play with his favorite team from childhood. Donaldson is a native of Pensacola, Florida who played his college baseball at Auburn — about a two-hour drive from SunTrust Park.“I was a huge Braves fan coming up,” he said. “My very first favorite player was Ron Gant. It’s a very full circle from coming to my very first Braves game, my first major league baseball game, when I was about 12 years old to now being 32 years old (next week), being able to wear this jersey and wear it with pride.”By only committing to Donaldson for a year, the NL East-winning Braves addressed their top priority while leaving themselves with plenty of financial flexibility beyond 2019. They have some of the most talented young players in the game, led by NL Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna Jr., and didn’t want to make a move that impeded their long-term progress.“I think it’s a win-win across the board,” Anthopoulos said. “We love Josh. We’re thrilled to have him. But it’s a one-year deal. Beyond one year Zach Duke Jersey
, we don’t know what’s going to happen, other than we hope we’re pouring champagne over each other’s heads and he’s had an MVP year again. It would be a good problem to have.”Donaldson was AL MVP in 2015 after hitting 41 homers and leading the league with 123 RBIs in his first year with the Blue Jays. He was acquired from Oakland in a blockbuster deal engineered by Anthopoulos, who was then Toronto’s general manager.While Donaldson followed up with two more 30-plus-homer seasons, a hip injury in 2016 and a strained right calf in 2017 cut into his production. This past season, Donaldson was limited to 52 games by shoulder inflammation and more calf issues, hitting .246 with just eight homers and 23 RBIs. He was dealt to Cleveland on Aug. 31 and played 16 games with the Indians, enough to persuade the Braves that he’s fully recovered from myriad health issues.“The sample size was small, but he looked fantastic,” Anthopoulos said. “He looked like the Josh we’ve always known, one of the best players in the game.”After taking over at the Braves’ GM, Anthopoulos brought along much of the training staff that worked for him in Toronto. That was another factor in Donaldson’s decision to sign with the Braves.“They know how to keep me on the field,” he said.Donaldson is not looking beyond 2019, but he doesn’t consider himself a rent-a-player.“I’m not somebody who wants to bounce around,” he said. “I would hope that this could be the last place that I play. That being said, that’s not what I focus on. I’ve never really focused on free agency and any stuff like that. I’ve focused on going out there and helping my team win ballgames and helping my team become better.”What about Johan Camargo, who had 19 homers and 76 RBIs in his first full season as the Braves’ third baseman?Anthopoulos wants to turn Camargo into a super sub who plays all four infield positions http://www.twinsfanproshop.com/authentic-max-kepler-jersey
, serves as the top pinch-hitter and maybe even gets some time in the outfield. The bench was a major shortcoming for Braves in 2018, which was especially apparent in the postseason when light-hitting Ryan Flaherty was included on the 25-man roster.“We’re going to give guys more days off,” said Anthopoulos, who described Camargo as “a big part of our lineup. He’s going to continue to play.”Even though the Braves will continue to pursue additional pitching for both the rotation and the bullpen, Anthopoulos was most concerned about bolstering an offense that ranked ninth in the NL with 175 homers and tailed off significantly in the second half.The Braves averaged just over 5 runs per game through the first half, but that dipped to 4.35 over the final 81 games. The offensive woes were especially apparent in the NL division series, when Atlanta was shut out twice and scored just eight runs in a four-game loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers .“It’s not something we wanted to announce, because we can still improve in the bullpen and in the rotation,” Anthopoulos said. “But the offense, more than anything else, we wanted to protect.” CHICAGO (AP) — So much for any lingering concern about Eduardo Rodriguez’s right ankle.He answered every question with a pile of Ks.Rodriguez struck out 12 in 5 2/3 innings in his return from an ankle injury, leading the Boston Red Sox over the Chicago White Sox 6-1 on Saturday night.“Best stuff of the season,” manager Alex Cora said. “Location, mix of pitches, tempo, that was impressive.”Jackie Bradley Jr. Fernando Rodney Jersey
, Ian Kinsler and Eduardo Nunez homered as AL East-leading Boston maintained its 7½-game lead over the New York Yankees, who held off Detroit for a 2-1 win. The Red Sox won for the fourth time in five games to run the majors’ best record to 94-43, already one more victory than they had when they won the division each of the past two years.Rodriguez (12-3) allowed one run and three hits in his first major league appearance since he sprained his right ankle while covering first against Toronto on July 14. The left-hander retired his first 12 batters, striking out 10.“All my pitches were right where I wanted,” he said.It was a welcome development for a Boston team already missing ace Chris Sale and fellow lefty David Price because of injuries.“We know that we’re searching for outs and for starters and everything. That was great for us,” Cora said. “He’ll be ready for his next start, we know that. There’s no limitations.”Carlos Rodon (6-4) kept the White Sox in the game for a while before committing a costly error in the seventh. With one out and runners on second and third, the lefty fielded Andrew Benintendi’s comebacker and threw wildly to first, allowing Christian Vazquez to come home.“Right now, I just can’t believe I did that,” Rodon said. “But I did it and just got to turn the page.”Steve Pearce and J.D. Martinez then hit run-scoring singles as Boston opened a 5-1 lead. Kinsler added a solo drive on a 3-0 pitch from Ryan Burr in the eighth.Rodon was charged with five runs, four earned, and six hits in 6 1/3 innings in his first loss since June 30. He was 5-0 with a 1.84 ERA in his previous nine starts.“You give a good club like that extra outs and they take advantage of it,” manager Rick Renteria said.The 25-year-old Rodon was sailing along before Nunez and Bradley connected in the fifth, powering the Red Sox to a 2-0 lead. Nunez’s 10th homer was originally ruled a double, but the call was overturned when a replay review showed his leadoff drive caromed off a railing above the wall in left.Rodriguez extended his scoreless streak to 24 innings before Nicky Delmonico hit an RBI double in the sixth. Cora then brought in Ryan Brasier http://www.twinsfanproshop.com/authentic-max-kepler-jersey
, who struck out Avisail Garcia to end the inning.MAKING MOVESThe White Sox promoted left-handers Aaron Bummer and Caleb Frare from Triple-A Charlotte. Bummer and Frare join a group of young relievers auditioning for more prominent roles in Chicago’s bullpen in 2019.The 25-year-old Frare is looking to make his major league debut after he was acquired in a trade with the Yankees on July 29 for international bonus pool money. He went 1-0 with a 0.71 ERA in 11 appearances with the Knights.“It’s really cool that they’re considering me to be a part of their future, and I’m excited to be here,” Frare said.SWEET SEPTEMBERThe Red Sox recalled five players from Triple-A Pawtucket: first baseman/outfielder Sam Travis, infielder Tzu-Wei Lin, lefties Robby Scott and Bobby Poyner and right-hander William Cuevas.TRAINER’S ROOMRed Sox: Price (bruised left wrist) played catch. “He feels OK,” Cora said. “He’s gonna try and pick it up tomorrow and see how he feels.” It’s unclear when Price will make his next start. … 3B Rafael Devers (strained left hamstring) could continue his rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket through the end of the minor league schedule on Monday. “We’ll take it day by day, but he needs the at-bats,” Cora said. “He’ll benefit from that.” … Rodriguez, Vazquez (broken finger) and knuckleballer Steven Wright (left knee inflammation) were activated from the 10-day disabled list. Vazquez got the start and went 0 for 3 with a walk.White Sox: Garcia left after six innings because of right knee soreness. He is day to day. … RHP Nate Jones was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Jones is out with a strained right arm.UP NEXTRed Sox left-hander Brian Johnson (4-3, 4.02 ERA) and White Sox right-hander James Shields (5-15, 4.54 ERA) pitch in the series finale on Sunday. Johnson is 4-1 with a 3.51 ERA in his 11 starts this year. Shields has one win and a 4.83 ERA over his last eight outings.