Josh Donaldson stays postseason eligible, joins NL Central leader on minor-league deal

That first big playoff home run in the NLCS is gonna hit like Pumpkin Spice.

Chicago Cubs v New York Yankees
Chicago Cubs v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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One team's buried, scary guy on the 60-Day IL is another team's treasure.

As rumored on Thursday morning, Yankees castoff Josh Donaldson found his way to the NL Central by end of day on a minor-league deal, signing with the Milwaukee Brewers and reporting to Triple-A Nashville.

And, what do you know? His calf appears to have miraculously healed!

The Yankees gave Donaldson a shot to contribute in October this year by releasing him when they did rather than when his IL stint expired in mid-September. They also gave someone else a shot to relieve them of some of his remaining 2023 salary; Milwaukee will now pay Donaldson the league minimum for his services.

According to Bob Nightengale, it's likely Donaldson is promoted to the big-league roster within a week, which is when the Brew Crew visits ... the Yankees in the Bronx.

Former Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson joins Brewers on minor-league deal

It didn't take a deep close read of Donaldson's post-release tweet to think he might be considering retirement. He didn't thank the Yankees and their fans, but focused instead on all the MLB fans who'd cheered him on along the way.

Turns out ... not yet! He's ready to make a go of it in Smashville, which is pretty much the only thing he did successfully during his Yankee tenure. 2023's stats in pinstripes were especially egregious; he drilled 10 homers, but only had five non-homer hits in 106 at-bats, an absolutely crazy thing. At this moment in time, he possesses the historic lowest BABIP in a season with 100+ plate appearances. It's ... something.

Perhaps Donaldson will get a shot at third for the Brewers down the stretch. He can still pick it. He's playoff tested. The exit velocity is still there when contact is actually made. The Yankees obviously saw something in 2022, decided they could weather the financial cost if it didn't work out, then absolutely backtracked on that decision.

The Brewers enter Friday's action three games up in the Cubs in the NL Central. Who knows? Perhaps they'll get an unexpected boost from the guy Gleyber Torres tried to compliment this week, but ended up with this instead:

"He was a great guy and a great teammate. He didn’t do too much to help us this year because he had injuries, but we had a great relationship."

Gleyber Torres

Yup. Put it on the Hall of Fame plaque.