Toronto Blue Jays: When will Josh Donaldson return to action?

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

Josh Donaldson has spent longer than expected on the disabled list. When will the three-time All-Star actually return to the field for the Toronto Blue Jays?

When Josh Donaldson suffered left calf tightness during a game on May 28 against the Boston Red Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays insisted there was nothing to worry about. However, after missing four games he was placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to May 29.

It was the second time Donaldson had been put on the DL this season. It also represented the second consecutive season he had missed significant playing time, after appearing in just 113 games in 2017.

The timing was understandably frustrating for a Blue Jays team seeing their postseason hopes start to fade away. Now, it represents another issue, with the organization set to be a seller as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches.

In theory, Donaldson was eligible to be activated from the DL on June 8. He’s been fine in batting practice, but has yet to show he can run the bases at full speed.

What’s followed, has been several times when the Blue Jays could have brought the three-time All-Star back. However, on each occasion, they decided against it.

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General manager Ross Atkins explained the Blue Jays want Donaldson to be fully healthy, and therefore productive, as arguably their biggest trade chip. As noted by John Lott of The Athletic, Atkins said the third baseman is working through his base running, so he can be competitive when he returns.

The irony is, the longer Donaldson stays out of action, the less likely teams might be to invest in a player who isn’t getting any younger. In that respect, the belief is the Blue Jays won’t get a big trade haul for him anyway.

The 32-year-old, who is earning $23 million this year, will become a free agent at the conclusion of the season. In addition, he is on course for his least productive campaign since becoming a full-time starter in 2013.

This doesn’t mean teams will have no interest in Donaldson between now and July 31. Pending his recovery, he still has the ability to produce and be an effective member for a postseason contender.

With this in mind, we predict the 2015 AL MVP will return to action by next weekend at the latest. After that, it’s up to him to prove he is fully recovered and able to contribute for the Toronto Blue Jays.


There is some good news on the injury front, as per Kyle Downing of MLB Trade Rumors. Marcus Stroman and Steve Pearce should return soon, with both currently embarking on rehab assignments in the minor leagues.

Next: J.A. Happ will be hot commodity at trade deadline

What’s your prediction for Donaldson’s short-term future? Will he be moved by the non-waiver trade deadline, or remain with the Toronto Blue Jays for the rest of the 2018 season? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.