Josh Donaldson is returning for the first time since being traded by the Toronto Blue Jays and it’s bringing back some negative feelings for fans.
It doesn’t feel that long ago that the “Bringer of Rain” was putting together an MVP season and helping the team end a prolonged playoff draught. Then after a couple of tough injury-riddled seasons, the fan favourite was moved to the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later which ended up being Julian Merryweather.
Understandably, fans were furious with the news, even though it would open up third base for Vladimir Guerrero Jr., because the organization basically tanked his value because waited too long to trade him since they had decided they weren’t going to bring him back.
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The worst part about this is where he ended up this season reuniting with Alex Anthopoulos after signing with the Atlanta Braves and getting back to his dominant form offensively. He has hit .262/.377/.534 with an OPS of .910 in 129 games while adding 32 home runs and 76 RBI.
Not only would that lead the Blue Jays if he was on the team right now, nobody would even be close to him. I guarantee the front office didn’t think Donaldson was washed up or couldn’t perform anymore. It really had more to do with them putting their own stamp by going with younger and controllable assets.
You can’t fault the front office for wanting to assure the long-term viability of this Blue Jays team, but you can fault them on their delivery when it comes to selling off players and closing the chapter on an era that had given fans hope for a World Series.
Again, we know what happened in 2015 and 2016 wasn’t going to continue for five years or more but the fact the front office was making excuses for their inability to get more value than they should have for the pieces they sold off.
Also, Blue Jays fans have been told on multiple occasions that they need to move on from players like Donaldson, Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Edwin Encarnacion, and Jose Bautista. While no player stays with a team forever especially with fewer teams willing to hand out long-term deals, it doesn’t mean fans teams should be heartless with how they let beloved players leave so easily.
What do you make of Donaldson returning after a less than ideal ending to his tenure in Toronto? Do you wish it could have been handled differently or should we just find a way to move on. Let us know in the comments below.