Yankees slam door shut on horrible Josh Donaldson trade but leave themselves exposed

Nobody from the Josh Donaldson trade remains. But ... a couple remain to burn the Yankees!
2024 New York Yankees Spring Training
2024 New York Yankees Spring Training / New York Yankees/GettyImages

On Wednesday, New York Yankees fans celebrated when the team landed Jon Berti in a trade with the Miami Marlins. It was the exact kind of acquisition the team needed as the infield depth was drastically affected by the injuries to DJ LeMahieu and Oswald Peraza.

But silly us! We thought we could be happy about something without another string being attached? That's not life as a Yankees fan since 2010. Get with the times!

The initial newsbreak had no details of the trade package beyond Berti going to the Yankees. As everyone waited to hear what the Yankees were surrendering, it was later revealed the transaction was a three-team trade with the Tampa Bay Rays being involved.

The Yanks traded No. 28 prospect John Cruz to the Marlins and sent catcher Ben Rortvedt to the Rays to complete the deal.

Rortvedt departing was inevitable. He had no options remaining and the team wasn't going to carry three catchers. With his exit, the Yankees organization officially has no trace of the Josh Donaldson trade remaining. But Rortvedt -- along with Isiah Kiner-Falefa -- will remain in the division, exposing the Yankees to the expected payback from both of these guys at some point.

Yankees slam door shut on horrible Josh Donaldson trade but leave themselves exposed

Rortvedt, if you remember, was the extraneous piece acquired in the 2022 trade with the Twins, which saw Donaldson and IKF arrive in New York with Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela heading to Minnesota. The main attraction with Rortvedt was his biceps, but he was more of an urban legend than anything for his first year and change in the Bronx.

He suffered an injury right as he arrived and didn't appear in a single game in 2022. Then, his 2023 got off to a similar start when he had to undergo surgery for something we had never heard of before. In all, Rortvedt logged 32 games with the Yanks, provided below-average defense, and hit .118 with a .461 OPS.

Yet, somehow, at some point, he was GERRIT COLE'S PERSONAL CATCHER. Yes, the man who won the 2023 Cy Young award had Rortvedt catching a majority of his games in the second half of the campaign. Only the Yankees could've made someone as irrelevant as Rortvedt as integral as he eventually became.

Wait for it, though! Rortvedt will inexplicably start slugging with the Rays, and will surely make the Yankees want to take a long walk off a short pier when he hits a game-winning homer off them in May after the bullpen decides to implode on a random Wednesday evening.

The stink of the Donaldson trade will linger a bit longer in 2024 (and potentially beyond) when the Yanks take on the division-rival Blue Jays and Rays. One day, we'll surely be able to put it to rest for good.