Former Blue Jays MVP officially hangs up his spikes, ending an incredible career

Josh Donaldson wearing his glove on his head during before an MLB interleague game at Chase Field on July 19th, 2016
Josh Donaldson wearing his glove on his head during before an MLB interleague game at Chase Field on July 19th, 2016 / Ralph Freso/GettyImages

At the age of 38, Josh Donaldson has announced his retirement from his MLB career. Donaldson was a truly impactful player for the Blue Jays during his time in Toronto. In four seasons with the Jays, he slashed .281/.383/.548 with 116 home runs and 316 runs batted in. He finished with 19.5 WAR as a Blue Jay, placing him at 20th on the all-time Blue Jays list.

In November of 2014, Alex Anthoplous swung a trade with the Oakland Athletics for Donaldson in exchange for Kendall Graveman, Brett Lawrie, Sean Nolin, and Franklin Barreto. This would end up being one of the best deals of his tenure, as Donaldson went on to win the American League MVP award, ahead of the sensational Mike Trout. Donaldson was secnd in all of baseball in fWAR at 43.7 from 2013 to 2021. As an MVP winner, he joins George Bell as the only other Blue Jay to ever win the award, helping cement his legacy and importance with the franchise.

The Donaldson era helped spark passion in a Jays team, where interest had been dwindling in years piror. The Jays hadn't made the postseason since 1993, and fans needed a reason to believe that the upcoming seasons would be different. Donaldson was an indispensable cog in the Jays lineup, being a significant power hitter, while playing a respectable third base. He consistently succeeded in big spots for the Jays, with several notable performances in both the regular season and postseason. Donaldson was one of the most key contributors to breaking the 22 year old playoff drought in 2015.

Donaldson has also stated how much he believed in that 2015 roster. "We all felt the same and we all knew there was one goal in mind and we knew that we were good." Donaldson said on The FAN’s Blair and Barker . "And then, on top of that, we played really well." Despite losing to the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS that year, Donaldson truly believed in the talent of his 2015 teammates and himself. "We had what it took to win the World Series. It just wasn’t our series.”

One of Donaldson's most iconic moments came in 2016 in the ALDS against the Texas Rangers, as the Jays were on the cusp of a three-game sweep. In the bottom of the 10th inning, with Donaldson on second base, he managed to score the game winning run on a bobbled throw by Rangers second baseman, Rougned Odor. It's commonly referred to as "The Donaldson Dash", and it'll be remembered by Jays fans fondly.

It wasn't always perfect for Donaldson however. Despite playing four seasons with the Jays, he missed significant time in both 2017 and 2018. Those injury struggles would follow Donaldson to the end of his career, despite still showing signs of being a great player. By the time he was traded to the New York Yankees, Donaldson appeared to have hit the wall, posting a meek 90 OPS+ over his final two seasons.

Donaldson was known to be excitable throughout his big league career, getting into altercations with umpires, managers, pitchers, and most recently, Tim Anderson. The Bringer of Rain was never willing to back down, and he'll be remembered as such as he moves into a new chapter of his life.