Toronto Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson hit the ground running in his first rehab start with the Dunedin Blue Jays last night.
There are many layers to the Josh Donaldson ordeal as the Blue Jays are hopeful they can put the former MVP through waivers now that he is finally healthy enough to partake in some rehab games. The Jays are up against the clock as the trade deadline for postseason eligibility is this upcoming Friday.
Donaldson played five innings at the hot corner and swatted an rbi single that apparently had an exit velocity off the bat of 110 mph. J.D. also drew a walk while going 1 for 2 in his first professional ballgame since May 28th.
Speculation is the Blue Jays are not interested in offering Donaldson a qualifying offer this offseason and will trade the third baseman before the end of the month if all goes well with his rehab games this week.
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The third baseman has only seen action in 36 games this season battling nagging shoulder and calf injuries. The injury woes came at the worst possible time and surely will cost J.D. millions in guaranteed money as the 32-year old is poised to hit the free agent market this offseason. A productive September and postseason could go a long way in rebuilding his stock to some extent.
The former MVP has the potential to carry a team on his back if he can regain his health and could greatly help a squad making a final push for the playoffs. In 31 career postseason games, Donaldson is hitting .292/.361/.475 with 10 doubles and 4 homers in 133 plate appearances.
The Indians and Cardinals have been two teams rumoured to have interest in the services of Donaldson. The tribe could shift Jose Ramirez back to second base while moving Jason Kipnis to the outfield if Donaldson comes into the fold and takes over third base. That seems like a likely landing spot seeing the brain trusts relationship with Cleveland’s front office.
Who could have predicted May 28th would be the final time we would see the hot corner specialist in a Blue Jays uniform with the big club. It should be an interesting week to finally see how it all unfolds.
J.D. will definitely be missed in Jays land as he is one of the premier talents in the game when healthy.