It was one year ago today that Alex Anthopoulos sent off Brett Lawrie, Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin and Franklin Barreto to the A's to bring Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays. To say it surprised us would be an understatement.
Donaldson had hit 53 home runs over the past two years, for the A's. He was still under team control for another 4 years. In 2014, by fWAR, Josh had been the 3rd best non-pitcher in the AL. To me, it looked like a very good trade for the Jays. I generally judge trades by who got the best player and, it seemed to me, Josh Donaldson was the best player in the deal.
I was a Brett Lawrie fan, but I had come to the conclusion that Brett wasn't going to be the player we hoped he would be. Graveman (someone that must have been named by Stan Lee) and Nolin looked to be, at best, 4th or 5th starters. The wildcard was Barreto. He was, still is, a very good prospect, but the odds of him becoming as good a player as Josh is very slim.
Most of us immediately liked the trade. In Scott's post about the trade, the poll ran 44% loving it, 50% pleased and 6% hate it. I'd have to guess that less than 6% would hate it now.
One year in, it looks like a great trade, likely the best of Alex's time with the Blue Jays. Donaldson leads us to the playoffs, won the MVP and put up an 8.8 bWAR. On the A's side, Lawrie had a 1.9 bWAR (but he did manage to stay off the DL), Graveman managed a 1.2 bWAR and Nolin a -0.2 bWAR.
There is time for the trade to workout for the A's but, right now, with a playoff run in our recent memory, I have a hard time thinking that we could ever come around to not loving this deal.