Blue Jays will have to make decision on Josh Donaldson’s future

Apr 6, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

If the Toronto Blue Jays continue to trend in a downward spiral over the next month or two the Jays brain trust will inevitably have to make a tough decision on the future of Josh Donaldson in a Blue Jays uniform.

Article Disclaimer: I do NOT endorse the notion that the Blue Jays should trade Donaldson nor do I think the season is over by any stretch of the imagination. I am hopeful the Jays can sign Donaldson long term and he remains in Toronto for years to come.

In saying that there have already been rumblings by many so-called Blue Jays fans that the team should be torn down due to the underwhelming start to the season. The Jays would have a plethora of trade chips to wheel and deal if Mark Shapiro and company do decide to go full rebuild on us.

Obviously, one of the sexiest talents to dangle for a lucrative return would, unfortunately, be the former MVP. The timing to move Donaldson this summer would yield a more profitable return as the receiving team would also get JD’s services for the 2018 campaign before.

Donaldson is earning $17 million for this season with one last year of arbitration eligibility in 2018 before potentially testing the free agent waters in 2019. Would teams be reluctant to pay full price for Donaldson seeing his nagging calf issues he has dealt with over the past two seasons?

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You would have to assume the asking price for Donaldson would be 3 top prospects to even get an invite to the table to negotiate for his services. Earlier this offseason the Washington Nationals surrendered Lucas Giolito (25th BA Top 100), Reynaldo Lopez (31st BA Top 100) and Dane Dunning to acquire outfielder Adam Eaton from the Chicago White Sox.

Eaton is signed through 2021 on a very team friendly contract so that no question played into the equation when negotiating the return. However, as much as I like Eaton, he is not in the same baseball stratosphere as Josh Donaldson.

In 2007 the Florida Marlins traded Miguel Cabrera along with Dontrelle Willis to the Detroit Tigers during the offseason after the slugger batted .320 with 34 home runs and 119 runs batted in. The Tigers parted with Burke Badenhop, Frankie De La Cruz, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller and Mike Rabelo to pry Miggy from the Sunshine State.

There is no question the Blue Jays could replenish the prospect cupboard with one fell swoop involving Donaldson. However, as we all have witnessed JD is a once in a decade type player. The likes of Donaldson are few and far between from his abilities on the field to his mental makeup and clubhouse demeanor. The guy is an absolute gamer and wants to win at all costs.

In my opinion, Shapiro and Ross Atkins would be better served signing the hot corner specialist long term and building around him with the young nucleus that is in place. The likes of Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Roberto Osuna, Devon Travis and Kevin Pillar could all be mainstays in Toronto for years to come.

Donaldson and company complimented with the up and comers like Rowdy Tellez, Anthony Alford ad Sean Reid-Foley to name a few could keep the Jays relevant for years to come.

Next: What is the Blue Jays’ Window For Contention?

The final decision will be well above any of our pay grades but no doubt it is a question that will need to be addressed when the direction of the team moving forward is decided upon.

Weigh-in on the comments what you would do with Donaldson moving forward.