Unfortunately Blue Jays fans will have to wait just a little longer to see Josh Donaldson return to Toronto in a different uniform.
According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic and MLB Network on Twitter, the Cleveland Indians will place newly acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson on the 10-day disabled list. Donaldson would miss at least a week of games and would go on a minor league rehab assignment.
Per league rules, a player must be activated before getting traded, meaning he cannot go from the disabled list of one team to the disabled list of another. Thus, it’s more than likely that the Indians planned to place him on the DL upon acquiring him.
As Rosenthal notes in a separate tweet, Cleveland was comfortable with his medical status and approved of his health before pulling the trigger on a deal. Jordan Bastian, their beat writer for MLB.com, initially noted the possibility of Donaldson hitting the DL earlier this weekend. The club officially confirmed the move in a Twitter release not long after. Cleveland will send Donaldson to Triple-A Columbus where he will rehab at the highest minor league level. Previously, he’d rehabbed at High-A Dunedin in the Florida State League.
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Normally, Blue Jays fans would not care much about a move such as this. But, as many were quick to note, this DL placement effectively assures that the 2015 MVP will not be appearing in uniform when the Tribe heads to Toronto next week. The Indians, who are scheduled to play a mid-week, three-game set at Rogers Centre, do not play the Jays for the remainder of the season.
Thus, Donaldson’s homecoming will be delayed for at least another six months. If he does re-sign in Cleveland, he will return to his former home in late July of next season.
If Donaldson’s injury keeps him out of action for longer than the allotted 10 days, this could greatly shift the perception of the trade’s success among Blue Jays fans. With Donaldson only playing for Cleveland for a guaranteed of a month, plus the postseason, missing a chunk of that would likely impact the way that the deal is thought of when reflected upon in the offseason.
Still, it’s never fun to see an old friend go back on the shelf, especially since he’s spent the majority of this season trying to get back to the bigs. Regardless of what ends up happening with Josh Donaldson in Cleveland, Blue Jays fans will surely be keeping a close eye on things, both for their own interests and to gauge the affluence of the August trade that sent him to the Tribe.