Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who had acquired Donaldson when in the Blue Jays front office, saw a mutually beneficial opportunity. He would upgrade his lineup, third-base spot and depth with a hefty one-year offer. Donaldson, meanwhile, could rebuild his value back home in the South under a familiar administration.
It was a resounding success. Donaldson was a force in the cleanup spot, helping Freddie Freeman to arguably his best campaign. He was also reliable defensively, providing a steady hand at third and the occasional eye-opening play.