With five trade completed ahead of the July 31st cut-off, the Toronto Blue Jays were extremely busy leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline.
One trade that didn’t happen was a move involving 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson, but Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins said the club definitely tried to make a deal.
“Josh is a great player, and I think any GM would be excited about thinking about Josh in their lineup and playing third base down the stretch,” Atkins told Gregor Chisolm of MLB.com. “There were a lot of discussions. The challenge is, with any player that is not playing, is understanding that risk and that timeline, with not the same access to information that we have.”
Donaldson has been on Toronto’s disabled list since May 29th after suffering a setback with his calf injury, which has put both the star third baseman and the team in a difficult position. A free agent at the end of the season, Donaldson was a prime candidate to be sold at the deadline, but the lengthy injury has negatively impacted Toronto’s ability to trade him as teams are unsure of his current health.
“The tolerance for that risk was the hard part to try and bridge. We had a lot of discussions about JD. We stayed in touch with Josh, obviously, but it didn’t end up becoming a deal.”
But, with all of this said, the three-time All-Star is reportedly getting closer to returning to the field, which could allow the Blue Jays to move Donaldson later this month. If he finishes out the season in Toronto and eventually walk as a free agent, the Blue Jays would likely offer Donaldson a one-year qualifying offer in order to land a compensation pick.
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