Josh Donaldson retirement is painful reminder he dragged the Yankees on his way out

Wild Card Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers - Game Two
Wild Card Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers - Game Two / John Fisher/GettyImages

No, New York Yankees fans shouldn't be "celebrating" Josh Donaldson's retirement. For as insufferable as he was as a Yankee, that's not very nice. However, Donaldson hanging up his cleats should serve as a form of symbolism for the current organization.

This shall mark the end of any further nonsensical transactions the Yankees' front office might be considering. Trading for Donaldson is a valuable lesson to learn from.

When Brian Cashman decided to inherit Donaldson's remaining $50 million, while also parting with a better fit at third base in Gio Urshela, all just so he could get value for Gary Sánchez's final year of arbitration eligibility, this was the beginning of the end of what we witnessed from 2022-2023.

Donaldson put up, by far, his worst numbers as a baseball player in New York, and it was because Cashman wanted to take a shortcut to avoid spending bigger money on better free agents. In fact, the acquisition of Donaldson facilitated the Twins' signing of Carlos Correa -- it helped them clear enough payroll to give him a flexible short-term, high AAV deal.

The Yankees passed on Correa, Corey Seager, Freddie Freeman, Marcus Semien, Kyle Schwarber, Kevin Gausman and others. They ended up with Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa after re-signing Anthony Rizzo and Joely Rodriguez. That was their offseason after the Red Sox booted them from the Wild Card Game.

Josh Donaldson retirement is painful reminder he dragged the Yankees on his way out

Not only was it the wrong decision in terms of upgrading the roster, but it couldn't have been a worse personnel fit. Donaldson, for his career, had the luxury of playing in markets such as Oakland (the weakest possible) and Toronto (in another country). His boisterous personality was hardly challenged.

All it took was couple months in New York to turn that sideways. Inappropriately mocking Tim Anderson by calling the White Sox shortstop "Jackie" resulted in a suspension and national outrage. Not to mention, the year prior, Donaldson publicly called out Gerrit Cole for his usage of sticky stuff, creating an unprovoked spat.

But because the Yankees were so devoid of personality and edge, Cashman reached too far by trying to shake things up with Donaldson's flair -- much like he did with the acquisitions of Joey Gallo, Willie Calhoun, Jake Bauers and Billy McKinney because the Yankees decided not to employ enough left-handed bats. All in all, this was front office malpractice of the most offensive kind.

Someone like Donaldson was never going to "fall in line" with the status quo in the Yankees' locker room, which is something most competent front offices would realize. But New York was desperate, and it was evident the moment this trade was reported.

Have fun clipping the Cashman "He's no Josh Donaldson" quote about Urshela. But our nightmare is long over. And ushering in the Juan Soto era is a good reminder that these types of failures no longer have any place in New York.