Toronto Blue Jays: Josh Donaldson tenure comes to crushing end

KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 25: Josh Donaldson
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 25: Josh Donaldson /

After weeks of speculation the Toronto Blue Jays finally pulled the trigger, trading Josh Donaldson to the Cleveland Indians.

It looks like Josh Donaldson will make his return to the Rogers Centre this season, but as a member of the Cleveland Indians and not with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The growing sense was that there was no chance the Blue Jays were keeping Donaldson around and, understandably, fans weren’t too thrilled with how the situation ended, after he was traded to Cleveland.

Since Mark Shapiro took over for Paul Beeston, the rift between the front office and the fanbase has been well documented, due to how rough the transition has been.

To expect the Blue Jays to sustain the success from 2015 and 2016 with an ageing roster would’ve been tough. Instead of facing the reality, they tried to make it about keeping the fans happy, but that approach isn’t working out well.

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Although the split with Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista were tough pills to swallow, Donaldson’s departure feels like a kick to the gut, especially because of the reported rift between the player and management.

Many can question whether the team did plan on extending Donaldson or were using that as a smokescreen, while they sorted through the potential return.

It appeared that the Bringer of Rain wanted to re-establish his value after an injury-riddled season, but the Blue Jays wanted no part of this according to John Lott of the Athletic.

According to Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun, Donaldson’s injured calf was worse than the team was letting on. Was this the Blue Jays’ plan, to avoid scaring away potential suitors? It certainly didn’t go over well with the 32-year-old, as he voiced his frustration with how everything played out.

For many Blue Jays fans, the impact the 2015 AL MVP had since being traded reinvigorated their passion for the team after years of disappointment. This was a team that had a legitimate shot at going to a World Series but fell short, and now they are struggling to beat the Baltimore Orioles who are worse than Toronto.

There aren’t many athletes who have had as much individual success as Donaldson, especially when the team hadn’t had an MVP calibre player since Roberto Alomar.

He didn’t just do it at the plate but at third base as well, which has been well documented.

Donaldson has an opportunity to show Blue Jays management that maybe they could have found a better solution in the end. Unfortunately, it looks like management wanted no part of that.

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Now the team is investing in their younger talent, which is expected to be led by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. If management wants to try and get in the good graces of fans, they will make sure this transition works out and doesn’t have the same ending as this recent tenure.