Now that he seems to finally be healthy, the St. Louis Cardinals may be the landing spot for Josh Donaldson.
After missing three months of action with a calf issue, Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson went on a rehab assignment this week and was placed on revocable trade waivers.
If he’s claimed, there’s no chance the Blue Jays will pull him back and keep him and according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the St. Louis Cardinals have emerged as a lead suitor going into Friday night’s midnight Eastern deadline for postseason eligibility.
The Cardinals’ interest in Donaldson dates back a year, to the 2017 trade deadline, and came back up during the offseason.
But an injury-dampened season and no real clarity on when he could return, quickly made Donaldson untradeable for Toronto until a well-timed return to action this week.
St. Louis has also gotten thin in the infield, with Jedd Gyorko (groin) and Kolten Wong (hamstring) going on the disabled list recently. So in line with that need, Morosi added the Cardinals have ramped up efforts to add a position player.
The Cleveland Indians have also been linked to Donaldson, but manager Terry Francona has said he doesn’t want to move Jose Ramirez off third base and displace the struggling Jason Kipnis at second.
Seemingly right on cue, Kipnis is 9-for-15 with two home runs and seven RBI over his last four games,
The Cardinals could also get by without Donaldson by shifting Matt Carpenter to third base and using the combination of Jose Martinez and Matt Adams at first base.
But when healthy he’s still a difference-making right-handed power hitter, as evidenced by 33 home runs in 113 games (415 at-bats) last year, and Donaldson could theoretically play both corner infield spots.
Donaldson’s relationship with the Blue Jays’ front office seems to have soured, which is likely rooted in not getting a big contract on his end or his extended recovery from injury this year on the club’s end.
A parting of ways is imminent and after it looked like they wouldn’t be able to, Toronto can get something for Donaldson at the 11th hour.