Russell Martin – Catcher
2016 Stats: 535 plate appearances; .240/.329/.458; 0.733 OPS; 23 home runs; 77 RBI
2016 ALCS Playoff Stats: 18 plate appearances; .118/.167/.118; 0.284 OPS; 0 home runs; 0 RBI
2020 Stats: N/A
A year removed from joining the Toronto Blue Jays and making the All-Star team, Russell Martin had an alright season both in the batter’s box and behind the plate in 2016. His .996 fielding percentage was impressive but his 15% runners caught stealing stat was a significant step back compared to years prior. His slash line is not going to blow anyone away, but the 23 home runs were the highest of his career. Like many of his Blue Jays counterparts, he was a bit lackluster in the 2016 ALCS, contributing zero runs and zero RBI over 18 plate appearances while striking out nine times.
Martin would be traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to the 2019 season and would become a free agent at the end of the year. While the right-hander did have some offers from teams across the league, the veteran was holding out for the right deal and did not sign with anyone for 2020. He is currently a free agent and has not made any indication that he is planning to retire.
Dioner Navarro – Catcher
2016 Stats (Blue Jay’s stats only): 36 plate appearances; .182/.250/.182; 0.432 OPS; 0 home runs; 3 RBI
2016 ALCS Playoff Stats: 2 plate appearances; 1.000/1.000/1.000; 2.000 OPS; 0 home runs; 0 RBI
2020 Stats: N/A
Acquired in late August of 2016, Dioner Navarro was the catching depth and the switch-hitting bat that the Blue Jays wanted on the bench for their eventual playoff run. He saw limited action in his second time around with the Jays, but his two plate appearances in the ALCS both resulted in hits, making him perfect in his limited action.
After 2016, he stepped away from baseball for a brief period of time after his wife experienced some medical issues. Navarro did spend suit up with the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League of Professional baseball and even signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians in 2019, but was released later that season. Navarro is currently a free agent.
Darwin Barney – Second Base/Third Base/Shortstop
2016 Stats: 306 plate appearances; .269/.322/.373; .695 OPS; 4 home runs; 19 RBI
2016 ALCS Playoff Stats: 8 plate appearances; .125/.125/.125; .250 OPS; 0 home runs; 0 RBI
2020 Stats: N/A
A utility bench piece acquired in August of 2015 from the Los Angeles Dodgers, Darwin Barney was a solid player who ended up playing a significant amount of games in 2016. He would see action in 104 games spread out along third base, second base, shortstop, and a couple of trips to left field as well. His postseason stats were less impressive, as he would slash .067/.125/.067 across 16 plate appearances in the 2016 ALDS and ALCS, mustering only one hit, one walk, and three strikeouts.
Barney would play one more season with the Jays after 2016 and would go on to sign a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers for the 2018 season, but would be released before the season began.
Before the start of 2020, Barney was named the manager of the Nashville Sounds, the Texas Rangers AAA affiliate at the time. It now appears that he may no longer be in that role given that the Sounds are no longer affiliated with the Rangers as well as COVID-19 shutting down the MiLB season. The team currently has no staff listed on their website but the news bulletin announcing him is still present.
He recently accepted a position to be the camp coordinator and a volunteer assistant coach for Oregon State as well as part being the Chief Baseball Advisor for the Portland Diamond Project, a group aimed at bringing an MLB team to Portland, Oregon.
Josh Donaldson – Third Baseman
2016 Stats: 700 plate appearances; .284/.404/.549; .953 OPS; 37 home runs; 99 RBI
2016 ALCS Playoff Stats: 20 plate appearances; .333/.400/.556; .956 OPS; 1 home run; 2 RBI
2020 Stats: 102 plate appearances; .222/.373/.469; .842 OPS; 6 home runs; 11 RBI
It was in late November 2014 when the ‘Bringer of Rain’ made a splashdown in Toronto. The Toronto Blue Jays made a monster trade, sending four players to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for the third baseman Josh Donaldson. Donaldson would have an immediate impact on the roster, winning the 2015 A.L. MVP award in his first season with the Blue Jays and cruising to two straight All-Star appearances. You probably remember Donaldson’s heroics in the 2016 ALDS rather than his stats in the ALCS, as he slid home to beat the tag and send the Texas Rangers home in just three games. The ALCS would still be kind to Donaldson, in that he was one of the only Blue Jays players to hit a home run and have a solid slash line against a dangerous Cleveland Indians rotation.
Nearing free agency at the end of the 2018 season, the Blue Jays would ship Donaldson to the Cleveland Indians at the trade deadline for prospect Julian Merryweather. He would play for the Atlanta Braves in the 2019 season before signing a four-year deal worth $92 million (with a fifth-year option) with the Minnesota Twins just before the 2020 campaign. The 2021 season will be his second year into that deal.