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The Cardinals and Jays Have Talked About Josh Donaldson: Rosenthal

The Jays losing Josh Donaldson next winter and getting only a draft pick back wouldn’t be a disaster, but it wouldn’t be very a good outcome for the club. The Jays moving Donaldson at the trade deadline in July, when there will be fewer suitors and a smaller bounty to be received, wouldn’t be too much worse for the long-term health of the franchise than dealing him now, but it would certainly be worse.

And so the club needs to weigh very carefully what they do this winter with their best player.

If other teams are willing to make the Jays an offer, they have to at least listen. And it sounds like they are:

Keep in mind, though, a couple days ago Rosenthal also said this:

So… yeah. I don’t know. It’s really not easy to say anything new about this. The arguments for and against it are clear and pretty well understood. On one hand, even as someone who would much prefer they not sell — not yet anyway, not until July, and only then if they really have to — I can’t deny that a Donaldson trade would could add a very nice piece or two for the 2019, 20, and 21 versions of this club, and would only come at the expense of a 2018 season that’s already looking difficult. On the other, as the fact that we think teams will be lining up to give the Jays great assets in return for him shows, there is a ton of value in giving yourself a chance to be good, even if it’s just for one year.

The pessimistic fans who don’t think the Jays can possibly make themselves good enough want to see them really explore it. Personally, I think the value of not punting on 2018 offsets enough of the difference between what you might get now and might get in July to make moving him very close to a non-starter. Call me crazy, but I think the possibility of a fun season sounds fun. And call me crazy, but I think that with Donaldson, Stroman, Sanchez, Osuna, Martin, Happ, Estrada, Travis, Tulowitzki, Smoak, and whoever else the Jays are going to be able to add between now and Opening Day, that possibility is real. They might not be good enough. They might not be healthy enough. They might get hit with regression and decline in places where they can least afford it. But they’re genuinely not a true talent 76 win team like a lot of fans seem desperate to believe they are, either. And I really don’t think it’s going to be as difficult as many think to improve on a roster that in 2017 gave them nothing or less than nothing from right field, the middle infield, their backup catchers, the DH spot, and Aaron Sanchez.

It’s going to be OK, in other words. Fun, even. And I don’t think that they’re merely talking with the Cardinals is going to change that — especially when considering this stuff:

So… there’s that.

  • Voidhelix

    I’m more concerned about the perceived quality of players they’re looking to bring in. Jay Bruce is Kendrys Morales with marginal OF defense. CarGo outside of Coors, with the year he’s just had? I get the idea of loading up on offense in lieu of pitching, but is THIS the way to do that? Wouldn’t being aggressive for a Marcel Ozuna be in the better interests of the team? Imagine a 2019 OF of Ozuna, Alford and Guerrero Jr? I would keep Donaldson and flip him at the deadline.

    • The Humungus

      Why Vladito in the OF? He’s never played it professionally and is still going to be at 3rd in the minors this year, where he is “improving” and the team is “optimistic” about his prospects.

  • Regulator Johnson

    I agree with trying in 2018 but losing Donaldson and only getting a draft pick would kind of be a disaster. Losing Delgado for nothing set the team’s offense back for a long time. The Halladay pieces would up being worthless but at least they had trade value & gave the team flexibility to do things like the Dickey trade.

  • Flash McLennan

    Great read today IM(not so)HO.

    “Call me crazy, but I think the possibility of a fun season sounds fun.”

    Not crazy at all! As someone in the “desperate” camp, it’s not that I think they’re a 76 win talent team. I think they’re 80-83ish, and that’s a dangerous place to be. That talent level can often end in, say, 85 wins: just enough for them to keep Donaldson all year, but not enough to make the playoffs.

    Maybe it’s about different definitions of “fun”. Is a mid-80s win season, we’re kind of in the second Wild Card race, kind of not, out of it the last week of September, fun? Maybe I guess? But anywhere near the fun of 2015-2016? Not to me. And enough more fun than a repeat of 2017 that I want them to sacrifice the future, including a hypothetical good return on Donaldson? Again, no. But I understand that others’ mileage may vary.

  • Mike22

    I agree with the comment above. The moves to contend here would clearly be bad for 2019 and 2020. We are talking about bring in outfielders who are 32 and coming off bad years on multi year commitments when we already have a ton of questionable money to mediocre to bad older veterans.

    If you want to sign guys to 1-2 year deals that are relatively light, sure whatever. But I do not want to give Jay Bruce or CarGo to a 3-4 year deal

  • The Humungus

    Ozuna to the Cards. Looks like the Donaldson deal is probably dead. Unless he’s coming here. In which case, I better lay down before the blood leaves my head.