Following the deal to send former MVP Josh Donaldson to Cleveland, more details have surfaced on the specifics of the monumental swap.
Yes, Josh Donaldson is no longer a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, and yes, he did get traded for a player to be named later. Regardless of your thoughts on the deal, there is a lot to unpack in this rather shocking late-season swap.
According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, the Jays will send $2.7 million to Cleveland to cover a (large) portion of the $3.69 million left on Donaldson’s deal. As Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet later noted, the salary included by the Jays could conceivably increase the value of the PTBNL changing hands in the deal, though no specific names have been confirmed at this time.
In other Cleveland-related news, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the player to be named later must be sent to the Blue Jays by January 30th of next year (2019), with several sources, including Steve Phillips of TSN, suggesting that the value of the PTBNL will be based on Donaldson’s health and how much he actually contributes to his new club.
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Although speculative, Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com names RHP Julian Merryweather as a player “rumoured to be headed to Toronto”. Merryweather, 26, was ranked as Cleveland’s #12 prospect in 2017 on MLB Pipeline’s list and has been sidelined since March after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Simply put, this deal will become more defined once the player to be named later is announced. Until then, the Indians will have a powerhouse lineup that now includes a former MVP. Though not entirely healthy, Donaldson could easily provide some value to them down the stretch. Not fully satisfied with the end of his tenure in Toronto, Donaldson will now get the chance to play for a legitimate playoff contender in Cleveland.
While the fanbase is likely enraged by the seemingly underwhelming return, it was obvious that the front office had little choice in trying to deal one of their most valuable assets.