Just over one year ago, the Minnesota Twins exchanged Josh Donaldson, along with Josh Donaldson's money and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, to the New York Yankees in a trade widely viewed as both lopsided and strange. The Twins got a typically solid year from Gio Urshela and a below-average season from Gary Sánchez before moving on from both players; the Yankees got saddled with Donaldson's regression.
Twins President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey doesn't seem to see it that way, though. If you believe his measured tone, he earnestly believes in a Donaldson bounce back in 2023, and isn't ready to take a full-fledged victory lap in front of the New York media.
During an appearance on Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman's podcast, Falvey opened up on the decision-making that led to last winter's blockbuster and reacted to the rumors of friction between Donaldson and Minnesota's front office.
Per Falvey, Donaldson isn't done yet, and he's still thankful for what the player brought to Minny during his time in the north.
"He was highly productive for us, and I think Josh brings a tenacity and an edge to the game that we benefitted from during his time here," Falvey noted. Of course, the long-term contract implications played into it, and he was more than happy to let the Yankees bank on his resurgence as the aging curve struck.
Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson doesn't have a fan in Joel Sherman
Stick around for Sherman's barb at the end, too, which sums up his feelings on the player (and person) pretty cleanly: "I've learned over the years, Derek, that when people use terms like 'tenacity' and 'edge', they usually mean something else."
Yup. Donaldson's an a*****e. The Yankees wanted a productive a*****e. They got an unproductive a*****e. So far.
This Yankees roster obviously looks completely different with the 127 OPS+ he posted in 2021 as opposed to the 94 mark from last year (paired with excellent defense).
Donaldson, ever the agitator, claimed this week that he would've retired if he didn't believe he could still contribute in 2023. Now, the onus falls on him -- and decidedly not on Falvey, who's already wiped his hands clean of the whole "tenacity" of it all.