Toronto Blue Jays: The time is right to trade Josh Donaldson

TORONTO, ON - JUNE 29: Josh Donaldson
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 29: Josh Donaldson /

The Toronto Blue Jays are still claiming they want to improve short-term, but the St Louis Cardinals reported interest in Josh Donaldson could put this to the test.

The Toronto Blue Jays and the media don’t seem to be able to agree on the team’s mindset for the remainder of this season. Last week general manager Ross Atkins spoke to TSN 1050‘s Naylor and Landsberg, to advise he is focused on adding pieces to improve the roster.

This was followed by Jays president Mark Shapiro speaking to Sportsnet‘s Shi Davidi on Monday, effectively saying the same thing as Atkins. However, the following day ESPN‘s Buster Olney joined Naylor and Landsberg, to claim the Blue Jays were preparing to take a “hard right-hand turn into retooling or rebuilding”.

MLB Network‘s Jon Paul Morosi has now entered the fray, to support his media colleague. Morosi reports that multiple executives around the league believe the Blue Jays will end up selling.

This obviously leads to the question of asking who is right and/or telling the truth? We might be about to find out, courtesy of some interest in one of the Blue Jays’ prized possessions.

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As reported by Bleacher Report‘s Mike Chiari, the St. Louis Cardinals are apparently keen to acquire Josh Donaldson. However, Chiari does go on to add the Cardinals have yet to approach the Jays for formal trade discussions.

Regardless, it will be telling what Shapiro and Atkins decide to do, if and when St. Louis make their formal approach. Agreeing to move the two-time Silver Slugger would effectively admit they are holding up the flag on this season.

And yet, it probably is best to trade Donaldson and get what you can for him. While he’s still a fantastic player, he’s suffering through a down year after a fantastic couple of seasons in Toronto, which included him winning the 2015 AL MVP award.

In fairness, the three-time All-Star has been compromised by a calf injury, which has forced him to miss half the team’s games. However, he will still be 32 before next season starts, which will also represent his last year before becoming a free agent.

In truth, the Blue Jays’ position will be affected by what they do on the field, with them five games out of wild card place entering Thursday’s action. And while five games doesn’t sound like much, there are seven teams between them and that precious second wild card spot.

Overall, you imagine Shapiro and Atkins will have a hard time selling it to their fans, if they do decide to move Donaldson. However, this doesn’t change the reality that the time is right to do just that.

Next: Trading Marcus Stroman makes no sense

What would you do in the Blue Jays’ position? Would you trade Donaldson or keep him around, at least until the end of the season? Share your reasoning in the comments section.