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Rick Zamperin: Simply put, Blue Jays whiffed on Josh Donaldson deal

01 September, 2018, 19:04 | Author: Lora Ball
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The Cleveland Indians have acquired former American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson from the Toronto Blue Jays, according to multiple reports. "But we feel we've built that in appropriately with the structure of the deal and spent quite a bit of time talking with the Blue Jays on how we appropriately balance that risk".

Let's start this by taking a trip to an parallel universe, one where Josh Donaldson was fit as a fiddle in spring training and remained so throughout the 2018 big league season. Despite that, Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports has been told teams are showing interest.

Donaldson ends his Blue Jays tenure with 116 home runs and a.281/.383/.548 batting line over four seasons.

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The 32-year-old Donaldson was the league's top player in 2015, when he batted.297 with 41 homers and 123 RBIs. Hindsight always proves to be 20/20, but the Blue Jays likely could have had a king's ransom in exchange for their former AL MVP if they had traded him a year ago, or even this past winter.

Donaldson has played in just 36 games this year, as the third baseman is dealing with a nagging hamstring injury.

Donaldson sent Toronto into the 2016 American League Championship Series by scoring the winning run in Game 3 of the ALDS, capping a three-game sweep over the Texas Rangers with a 7-6 victory in 10 innings. The ninth-inning blast to left field gave Toronto a 5-4 comeback win over Tampa Bay, putting a wild ending on an already tantalizing regular season, his first as a Blue Jay. Outfielder George Bell won in 1987. He could still be traded in September to help a team make the playoffs, however. After a couple of fielding misplays and an error from the Rangers, Donaldson made arguably the most famous dash to home plate in Blue Jays history and used his heads-up base running to seal Toronto's berth in the 2016 ALCS. After missing the last three months due to a calf injury, he practically limped out of town. But the club made the gross miscalculation that it would be a contender this year and chose to roll the dice that the third baseman would return to form.

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If Donaldson were to decline such an offer and opted to test the free-agent market, the Blue Jays would at least get a draft pick when he signs with another club.

Or, the Blue Jays could have offered him a qualifying offer for the 2019 season, which will probably be in the vicinity of US$18-million.

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