Yankees among those upset by timing of Josh Donaldson trade
The Yankees are among a handful of teams upset about the circumstances leading up to the oft-injured Josh Donaldson being traded to the Indians, only to be placed on the DL soon after.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic; the Yankees, Astros and Red Sox are less than pleased about the timing of the trade that sent third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Blue Jays to the Indians on Aug. 31.
"“To the irritated clubs, Donaldson’s status amounted to a contradiction: He was sufficiently recovered from a left-calf injury to go on revocable trade waivers and get dealt, but not healthy enough to join [Cleveland] immediately, requiring another trip to the disabled list instead.”"
Per MLB rules, had Donaldson been traded after Sept. 1, he would have been ineligible to play in the Postseason — even though the 32-year-old former AL MVP hasn’t played a single game since May 28 due to a calf injury.
The issue stems from Aug. 29 when Donaldson was on a minor league rehab assignment. That same day he was placed on revocable waivers. With the Jays beginning a massive rebuild, getting something in return for the free-agent-to-be was critical.
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However, by rule, a player must be deemed physically fit, to be placed on waivers and thus traded. Although Donaldson told the MLB Players Association that he was free of the calf pain that robbed him of more than three months of the season, therefore allowing him to be traded to Cleveland, the Indians placed Donaldson on the 10-day DL on Sept. 3 without him playing a single inning for his new club.
According to the report filed by Rosenthal, after going unclaimed on waivers (likely due to his remaining $4 million salary), Donaldson and his representatives knew he was unhealthy at the time of the rehab assignment, but were concerned about potentially damaging his free agent stock this offseason, should he be unable to return to action in 2018.
It’s an interesting sequence of events, to say the least. Although Donaldson is having his least productive season since 2012 with the A’s: .234/.333/.423 with 22 runs scored, 11 doubles, five home runs and 16 RBIs in just 33 games, this is still a player capable of carrying an offense in a short series.
In 120 Postseason at-bats, the three-time All-Star is slashing .292/.361/.475 with four homers and 13 RBIs. Suffice to say, if healthy, none of the clubs up in arms want to see Donaldson in Terry Francona’s lineup — especially if he was acquired illegally.
"“No rival executive would have squawked if the deal had occurred after Sept. 1.” However, if Donaldson produces for the Indians in the postseason and helps them make a run to the World Series, the complaints from other teams become all the more understandable."
Donaldson is slated to be activated from the DL in time for Tuesday night’s contest versus the Tampa Bay Rays.