Andrew Stoeten, in the Athletic, has a story up about why the Blue Jays might not offer Josh Donaldson arbitration. And he’s pretty fair handed about it, not judging the front office or Rogers, just reasoning it out.
Basically, if you let me cut down his argument to one sentence (go read it, he explains it better). the feeling is the team thinks that Josh might take the QO and that they might find a better use for $18 million. The team is swimming in infielders, but is short on pitchers. The $18 million could go to a starting pitcher and a reliever, which would be more useful than a third baseman who may or may not be able to play. And if he takes the QO, we can’t trade him until after June 15.
If Josh took the qualifying offer and he had another injury filled season, we wouldn’t be able to trade him again. And even if he did play, and if we did decide to trade him at the deadline, he might not bring back the return we’d expect. On the other hand, if we signed a starting pitcher and a reliever, odds are we could likely trade them at the deadline if things work out that way and pitchers seem to be bringing a better return at the deadline than batters.
Add in that Josh is a big personality, and it would be hard to sit him to find playing time for others (Vlad?). If we have both Josh and Vlad, someone will be losing at bats. Or the team could release Morales, but as Andrew says, that would make the effective cost of Donaldson $30 million not $18 million.
That second part shouldn’t be difficult for people like Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins. If they don’t think they can do more with $18 million than rolling the dice on a 33-year-old slugger in the modern free-agent environment, then they probably aren’t in the right line of work. But convincing fans such a decision isn’t financial, and that this front office is up to that task, will be a whole lot harder.
I think he’s right, it wouldn’t be hard for the front office to find a better use for the money, but I think it would be tough for them to convince fans that. The ‘Rogers a cheap’ people will be all over it.
So you can understand why the team would love it if Josh could play before the end of the month and if they could work out some deal, any deal, so that they don’t have to look like cheapskates this winter. Unfortunately, time has pretty much run out on that hope.
If you were in charge would you give Josh a Qualifying Offer?
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