Toronto Blue Jays: Looking back on the Josh Donaldson trade three years later

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Josh Donaldson
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Josh Donaldson /

Former Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos made a trade that changed the course of the team when he acquired Josh Donaldson from the Oakland Athletics.

It feels like yesterday when the news broke about the Toronto Blue Jays making a franchise altering move acquiring Josh Donaldson from the Oakland Athletics. The Blue Jays sent Brett Lawrie, Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin and Franklin Barreto for the All-Star third baseman that certainly caught a lot of people off guard.

The trade has definitely worked out for the Blue Jays making the postseason in the first two seasons with Donaldson who won the AL MVP in his first season in Toronto. He had 41 homeruns and 123 RBI in his first season but injuries the past two seasons have prevented him from getting back-to-back 40 home run campaigns with 37 in 2016 and 33 in 2017.

He also brings a lot of value defensively and has been a 21.1 WAR player in his three years in Toronto. It is no coincidence that when he missed significant time with injuries in 2017, the Blue Jays struggled and missed the postseason as a result.

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Now the challenge that management faces is making a decision on Donaldson’s future with the team. If the Blue Jays want to bring him back it will have to come over a long-term deal with a hefty pay raise, something he deserves and can get on the free agent market.

Last month, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi wrote about how Donaldson went up to GM Ross Atkins and told him that he wants to remain with the Blue Jays. That should give Blue Jays fans piece of mind knowing that a superstar wants to remain with the team but that feeling has to be mutual.

The Blue Jays are not in a position to take a back seat with the core they have right now and in a couple of years, prospects like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette will be making their way up the ranks. It would benefit the team to have a player like Donaldson around to put less pressure on them to perform right out of the gate.

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What has been your favourite Donaldson moment in Toronto so far and what do you think his future will look like?