Well, if you were wondering if anything was going on in Blue Jays Land, you’ve got your answer. Apparently, the Blue Jays have traded Sean Nolin, Kendall Graveman, Franklin Barreto AND Brett Lawrie to Oakland for Josh Donaldson. Here are the nuts and bolts of what will surely be a hot topic of conversation.
Just this morning on my drive to work, I was picturing Brett Lawrie hugging Adam Lind in the dugout and wondered what Brett would do without his bestie around. Well, now that is not going to be a concern. Perhaps, in an effort to achieve a better clubhouse, Lawrie was one of the “problems”. Aside from giving up Lawrie, who I maintain has the tools to be a Gold Glove, the Blue Jays will also give up Sean Nolin, who has seen his stock slip a bit and may even be stalled by the arms in front of him. Kendall Graveman whipped through the system in 2014 and Franklin Barreto was someone the Blue Jays were high on.
But, they are getting Josh Donaldson in return. Donaldson will turn 29 very soon. He is under team control until 2019, which is more control than the Blue Jays had over Brett Lawrie. Donaldson is coming off a 2014 season where he hit 29 HR, 98 RBI with a line of .255/.342/.456/.798 and was an All Star. The year before, he hit .300 with 24 HR from third base. Over the last 2 seasons, Donaldson has been worth 15.4 WAR. All of this and he didn’t even make a million dollars over those 2 years. He’s also finished in the top 10 for MVP voting twice. That is a vast improvement over the “is he going to be healthy enough, let alone hit like a third baseman” option the Jays had with Brett Lawrie. Everyone knows I have a huge man crush on Brett Lawrie, but his numbers and inability to stay healthy were a major concern.
And, in case you were wondering, the Blue Jays are not going to miss much with the leather:
Consdering just how low Lawrie’s value is at the moment and the fact that the Blue Jays did not have to give up any of their big young arms (Marcus Stroman, Drew Hutchison, Aaron Sanchez), this is probably a good move on their part. The Red Sox are starting to revamp their roster. The Blue Jays are making strides, too. But are they done? Maybe not: