Toronto Blue Jays General Manager Ross Atkins addressed the offseason rumour that refuses to go away involving Josh Donaldson and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Ross Atkins spoke to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN in an attempt to quell the ongoing speculation that the Blue Jays are shopping third baseman, Josh Donaldson. The St. Louis Cardinals have been pursuing the former MVP all offseason in an attempt to add a power bat to their lineup.
There has been much discussion in regards to the direction the Blue Jays are going to take moving forward and whether the third baseman is in those plans. The Jays brain trust keeps reiterating that they plan to contend in 2018.
"“It seems like it was one rumor that came out at the trade deadline, and people have continued to build off that rumor, we’re trying to win, and I can’t imagine our team being better without Josh Donaldson.”"
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Donaldson is in his final year of arbitration eligibility after earning $17 million last season. The 32-year old will be one of the most sought-after free agents next season if he does hit the open market. The third baseman owns a 37.3 WAR over his first 7 seasons in the majors after batting .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs in 113 games last season.
The Jays are undoubtedly in tough in the AL East with the Yankees and Red Sox, however, Atkins appeared to welcome the challenge that he is up against versus the beasts in the east.
"“We’re excited about trying to overcome the challenges. That’s why we sign up for these jobs. There are a lot of good stories in baseball, and we’re hoping to be one of those better stories.”"
Time will tell as the remainder of the offseason plays out but there is definitely still a ton of available talent ready for the picking if the Jays want to pony up the money.