Blue Jays under the gun with Donaldson decision

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 17: Josh Donaldson /

The Toronto Blue Jays are getting a lot of calls for Josh Donaldson and whether they keep him or trade him, they can’t afford to make the wrong decision.

It has been a quiet offseason so far for the Toronto Blue Jays after a tough season but one name continues to circle the rumour mill and that is Josh Donaldson.

The most recent update at the Winter Meetings was that the St. Louis Cardinals were aggressively pursuing the third baseman which shouldn’t come as a surprise since they have been interested in him for a while.

The Donaldson rumours did not end there as it appears that the number of teams interested in the him increased during the Winter Meetings according to Jon Heyman.

If Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins are serious about moving the “Bringer of Rain”, the price most certainly went up now that more teams appear to be in the mix. This also puts more pressure on management to make the right decision, one that they cannot get wrong.

While the team should not do anything drastic just because the New York Yankees added Giancarlo Stanton, they still need to find a way to position themselves as contenders. Does trading Donaldson allow them to do that or is signing him to a new contract make more sense?

More from Tip of the Tower

Considering the market to add players is not going to be cheap, the Blue Jays are unlikely to add a major piece through a trade. Steve Phillip’s reported that the asking price for Marcell Ozuna started at Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. from the Miami Marlins.

That would make it an easy decision for the Blue Jays to avoid trading with the Marlins considering how they are taking a lot of heat for the Stanton trade and need to sell some hope to their fanbase.

So how do the Blue Jays avoid a potential disaster with the Donaldson situation? It starts by deciding whether to invest with him or without him.

If the Blue Jays decide to sign Donaldson to an extension, they cannot stop there because that would show that they are committed to competing with Donaldson. Sure there are prospects like Guerrero Jr. and Bichette making their way through the system but there is no telling when they will be major league ready.

The starting pitching is in good shape with one or two arms needed for depth and the bullpen could use some tweaking  in order to be ready for the season. The big challenge will be getting the lineup in shape for the season.

Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith wrote about the Blue Jays wanting to get their infield sorted out with the likely avenue for improvement will home through trade. The team wants a more dependable option considering the issues that Devon Travis and Troy Tulowitzki have staying healthy.

In the outfield the team will likely make a big play for Lorenzo Cain and if they strikeout there then there is a chance that they rely on younger players to fill the void like Teoscar Hernandez an Anthony Alford.

The team does have more options in the outfield if they decide to give younger players a chance next season. Along with Hernandez and Alford the team has players like  Dwight Smith Jr., Harold Ramirez, and maybe Dalton Pompey can finally get back on track with his health.

When it comes to trading Donaldson, the only way that I see the Blue Jays trading him is if the offer blows them out of the water. If the Cardinals keep calling, the price should either remain the same or only get higher even if there is no progress in contract talks.

While people believe that the best course of action would be to trade Donaldson and get into a competitive situation going forward there is no guarantee that it will work out that way. The last thing they would want is to trade Donaldson and have to restart from scratch like the Marlins are doing right now.

It is not an easy decision for management to make which is why the pressure is on for Shapiro and Atkins.

Next: CC Sabathia would address Blue Jays’ pitching needs

What do you think about the Donaldson situation and what should be the right course of action.