The Toronto Blue Jays are planning on placing former American League MVP Josh Donaldson on revocable trade waivers, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Donaldson has not played in a big-league contest since May 28, when he was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a strained left calf muscle injury.
If the Blue Jays trade Donaldson before Friday Aug. 31 (deadline ends that night at 11:59 p.m.), the third baseman/designated hitter will be playoff-eligible for his new club. He is owed $4 million for the remainder of the season. Donaldson, 32, slashed .234/.333/.423 with five home runs and a .757 OPS in 36 contests this season before his placement on the DL. He is currently rehabbing with the Blue Jays’ Class A affiliate in Dunedin, FL.
Donaldson signed a 1-year $23 million deal with the Blue Jays before the season to avoid salary arbitration. A three-time All-Star, Donaldson won league MVP honors in his first season in Toronto (2015) after being traded the previous offseason from the Oakland Athletics, ranking first in RBI and runs scored. He won the Silver Slugger Award that season and in 2016, another All-Star campaign for Donaldson.
The Blue Jays are likely to enter rebuilding mode. Their division rivals, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, own the two best records in MLB and are stocked with young talent. This puts the onus on Toronto to build for the long-term future through a youth movement.
Toronto will miss the playoffs for the second straight season after reaching the ALCS in 2016 as a Wild-Card team. Dealing away Donaldson would be a big first step in the franchise’s rebuild.
Rosenthal says the Blue Jays “want Donaldson gone” so that they don't have to decide whether to offer him a qualifying offer in the offseason. There should be plenty of interest in Donaldson from multiple contending teams.