After calls, and calls and calls from Anthopolous to Beane trying to get Donaldson, with no luck until, a Friday night in November around 10:30 pm the ball dropped and possibly the biggest trade in franchise history happened. The Blue Jays traded fan favourite and Canadian Brett Lawrie, Kendall Graveman, Franklin Barreto and Sean Nolin for Josh Donaldson.
Lawrie was to be the Jays 3rd baseman for the present and the future but injuries, and rather average play, derailed his Jays career. Anthopolous moved on. As for the other three players in this deal, Kendall Graveman had recently made his Jays debut out of the bullpen. Franklin Barreto was the shortstop of the future and arguably the Jays best prospect at the time, and for Nolin well he never really panned out in Toronto after his horrendous debut.
For Toronto this trade is a clear win.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Jays acquired future MVP Josh Donaldson who is the face of the franchise after 2 very impressive seasons for Toronto.
In 2015 Donaldson played in 158 regular season games with a .297 batting average along with 41 homeruns and 123 RBI’s. As well in 2015 Donaldson was an upgrade over Lawrie at 3rd base. Donaldson also won the 2015 AL MVP after an incredible season.
Following his MVP season, in 2016 Donaldson returned with incredible hype and expectations. Despite injuries Josh played in 155 regular season games. Donaldson’s bat as well was still very good as he hit a 37 home runs with 99 RBI’s with a .284 batting average.
Since this trade the Blue Jays have made the playoffs in both seasons and have made the ALCS both times.
Brett Lawrie: Lawrie’s time in Oakland was not good, and he was traded after the first season to the Chicago White Sox for 2 minor league pitchers. However with Oakland Lawrie did stay healthy as he played 149 games, with 16 home runs and 60 RBI’s. While playing with Oakland as well Lawrie split his time between playing 3rd base and 2nd base.
Kendall Graveman: Graveman was drafted in 2013 and he flew up the Jays minor league system and was a September call up in 2014. In 5 games with Toronto he pitched in 4.2 innings with a 3.86 ERA. Graveman is still pitching in Oakland as a starter at back of the rotation. As in his first year in Oakland Graveman started 21 games with a 6-9 record and a 4.05 ERA while throwing 115.2 innings. In 2016 at the age of 25 Graveman threw 186.0 innings in 31 starts with a 10-11 record and a 4.11 ERA. He threw 2 complete games one a shutout.
Franklin Barreto: Barreto was a top prospect in Toronto and was the real big draw in this trade. Barreto, now only 20 years old, is listed as the Oakland Athletics top prospect. In 2016, Barreto was promoted to AAA and added to the 40 man roster. He should get a long look in spring training. Last season, between AA and AAA, Barreto hit .284 with 11 home runs and 53 RBI’s in 123 games. Barreto was the big fish in the Donaldson trade and provides the A’s hope that the trade isn’t a complete lost.
Sean Nolin: Nolin was once a top prospect in Toronto. In 2013 at the age of 23 Nolin made his MLB debut and he started 1 game. Nolin threw 1.1 innings while allowing 7 runs, 6 earned. Nolin’s time in Oakland was like Lawrie’s short. In 2016, Nolin made 6 starts in Oakland putting up a 5.28 ERA in 29 innings pitched. Nolin is currently a free agent.
In the end Oakland got Franklin Barreto, Kendall Graveman and 2 minor league pitchers (for Brett Lawrie). Unless Barreto becomes a star, this could turn out to be a very lopsided trade. And, even if he does become a star, it’s a great trade for the Jays.