Will the Yankees cut Donaldson? We're still doubtful. But is his roster spot in jeopardy? Absolutely! We're watching the same season, right? If he survives until the end of 2023, he'll do so on thin ice from July through September.
No matter how many times Aaron Boone publicly states that he has confidence in Donaldson, you know that, behind the scenes, the team is worried. Donaldson was brought in at a $20+ million price tag to give the Yankees some edge, play excellent defense, and translate his high exit velocities into maintaining 25-30 homer seasons.
Instead, he's gotten his team laughed at more often than he's intimidated the Yankees' opponent. He's been unable to do anything but hit the occasional longball in the midst of a dispiriting loss. Defensively, he's held up. Except at Fenway Park. But the total package has been arguably worse than what Aaron Hicks provided before he was DFA'd.
The Yankees don't like to lose and admit defeat, and sending Donaldson into the wild so someone else could potentially pick him up is an unappealing scenario (again, especially in the wake of Hicks' resurgence in Baltimore). He's clearly done more to earn the "in jeopardy" tag than Ramirez or Abreu, though. New York might be more willing to cut a cheap reliever than a supposed offensive starter with MVP pedigree, but Donaldson's the most obvious upgrade spot at this year's deadline. DJ LeMahieu's here long-term, a problem in and of itself. Donaldson's not. His time is nearly up, no matter what Boone tells the masses.