I didn’t realize today was an off-day. I guess we deserve one after last night.
There isn’t much for Jays news this morning. Jon Harris has been moved up to Buffalo to make today’s start for the Bisons. He’s on a nice little run, his last 3 starts he’s allowed just 11 hits in 18.2 innings, 2 earned, with 1 walks and 16 strikeouts. That earns him a promotion. Game time is 1:00 Eastern if you are interested.
Since there isn’t much for news, I thought I’d ask you all what you think will happen with Josh Donaldson. You have to feel bad for the guy, he’s having a tough time of it, at exactly the wrong time. It is the wrong time for the team too. If he was in the lineup and playing like he usually does, you’d have to figure the Jays would have 3 or 4 more wins (maybe more considering Gio Urshela wouldn’t have played). He would be a very valuable trade chip for the Jays. And, he’d be setting himself up for a pretty good payday with free agency coming up.
Now? Unless a miracle of some sort happens, he has pretty much has zero trade value before the deadline and his free agency hopes have dropped so much that it is possible he’d take a qualifying offer.
What could happen?
He could be traded by the deadline:
I think it is unlikely. Josh is to be evaluated in 3 weeks, roughly the middle of July. If, somehow, he’s 100% recovered, you would imagine the team would have him play a short rehab assignment, which would mean the best he could hope would be to come back to the Jays with about a week left before the deadline. I don’t see that being long enough to convince potential trade partner that he’s a) health and b) back to being able to hit like Josh Donaldson should and play defense everyday.
I think it is far more likely that, when he’s evaluated and all being well, he’ll slowly start back towards ‘baseball activities’ and he’ll won’t be back with the Jays until August.
He could be traded in August:
August waiver deals are happening more and more often, over the last few years. If Josh is still on the DL at the start of August, the Jays can put him on waivers right at the start of the month, and odds are he’d clear, which would allow them to trade him to any team.
Again, Josh would have to prove he’s healthy and able to play defense before the end of the month. He’d have to prove to other teams that he would be valuable enough to make it worth making an offer. That’s two months away, a lot can happen. I think it is a possibility.
The Jays could keep him and give him a qualifying offer:
If the team can’t get a better offer they like better than the value of a compensation pick, they might as well hold on to him.
Inside of this, there are a couple of possibilities.
Josh could accept:
If he accepted, he would have season to reestablish his value and then go into free agency next year. The good parts for him is he couldn’t be qualified again, which is a drag on any potential contract offer. And he wouldn’t be going into free agency at the same time as Manny Machado.
Personally, if I was looking to sign him as a free agent, especially to a multi-year contract, I’d be also looking to move him to first base or DH. I thinking to keep him in the lineup you would need to get him off third base (and I’m still not sure that would keep him in the lineup). And I have worries that he won’t be able to make the throws from third.
If he takes the QO and has another poor/injury fulled season, I don’t know if he could get any offer in free agency after the 2019 season.
Josh could decline and hope there is a better deal out there:
The trouble with taking the QO and planning on free agency again is that he’s not getting younger. Teams don’t seem to want to give big contracts to players on the wrong side of 30. Josh turns 33 this December. If I’m him, I don’t know if I’d want to be looking for a free agent contract at age 34 (not that it will be all that much fun at 33).
I guess he would have to decide if he thinks he could do better this year or next year. I don’t think anyone knows the answer to the that.
The Jays might not offer him a QO:
I really don’t see this as likely, but you never know. I don’t see the upside in letting him go for free.
Let’s have a poll.
I think Josh Donaldson
This poll is closed
Will be traded by the deadline (July 31)
Will be traded in August
Accepts a Jays Qualifying Offer
Declines a Qualifying Offer
Jays don’t do the Qualifying Offer