Toronto Blue Jays News

Toronto Blue Jays: The Josh Donaldson Trade Tree

TORONTO, ON - MAY 30: Josh Donaldson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates as he circles the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning during MLB game action against the Cincinnati Reds at Rogers Centre on May 30, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 30: Josh Donaldson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates as he circles the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning during MLB game action against the Cincinnati Reds at Rogers Centre on May 30, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, CANADA – SEPTEMBER 28: Kendall Graveman #31 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the seventh inning during MLB game action against the Baltimore Orioles on September 28, 2014 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA – SEPTEMBER 28: Kendall Graveman #31 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the seventh inning during MLB game action against the Baltimore Orioles on September 28, 2014 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

The Prospects

Kendall Graveman was a former eighth round pick of the Blue Jays in 2013 and was coming off a season that had him climb all the way from Single-A baseball to making five appearances for the Blue Jays late in the season.  In the minor leagues that year through four levels, he posted a 14-6 record and 1.83 ERA.

Gravemen put in a few good seasons as a solid middle to back of the rotation starter for the Athletics. From 2015-2018, Graveman started 78 games and collected 23 wins.  He was forced into reconstructive elbow surgery in 2018 and he did not return to the Athletics.  The right-hander signed on with the Chicago Cubs for the 2019 season, however he was able to only pitch in six innings in their minor league system as he continued to recover. This past winter Graveman signed a one year deal with the Seattle Mariners with a club option for a second year where he will hope to get his career going again.

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Sean Nolin was a former sixth round pick of the Blue Jays in 2010 and had continually progressed and gotten better through their minor league system.  Nolin had a couple sips of coffee in the majors in 2013 and 2014, but just one appearance each year. He made his Oakland debut as a September call-up in 2015 and started six games, but struggled a bit with base runners.  Nolin was placed on waivers that off season and was picked up by the Milwaukee Brewers, however it was determined in Spring Training he had a significant injury in his left elbow that led to Tommy John surgery.  Nolin was completely out of baseball for the next two seasons and has tried to make a comeback over the last couple of years, but he has bounced around a few minor league systems. This past December he signed a deal with Saitama in the Japan Pacific League.

Franklin Barreto was the youngest of the players’ traded and is still just 24 years of age.  The Blue Jays signed him as a 16-year old out of Venezuela and he had played just two seasons in Toronto’s minor league system.  He was an 18-year old infielder that had just come off a season where he hit .311 with 23 doubles and 29 stolen bases with the Vancouver Canadians.  Barreto is still in the Oakland Athletics system and has been up and down with the major league club over the last three seasons. Over 80 career games Barreto has a .189 batting average with an 85-7 strikeout to walk rate.  Oakland still has another five years of control before Barreto becomes free agent.

Reid-Foley and Kay sent to minors. dark. Next

I remember when the trade came down I was disappointed that Lawire had to be included in the deal, as I still saw a lot of potential in him and also thought Nolin was going to be a really good pitcher.  But getting a player about to hit their prime and win you an MVP award, you make that trade. Over the years of the Blue Jays organization there have only been a handful of times where Toronto has acquired a player that was going into their prime, and this was one of the times.  Donaldson brought back to Toronto a love of baseball for a generation.

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