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Photo Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently the Jays are worried about giving Josh Donaldson a qualifying offer

One of the biggest reasons for the letdown in 2018 has been a calf injury that ultimately derailed Josh Donaldson’s season. The former MVP has played in just 36 games for the Blue Jays this year and has been on the disabled list since late May. As a result, the Jays weren’t able to deal Donaldson prior to the non-waiver trade deadline in July.

Obviously heading into the season it appeared inevitable that Donaldson, Toronto’s most valuable player to be dangled in a trade, would be dealt if the season went sideways. Now, here we are in the middle of August, and trading Donaldson before the final trade deadline doesn’t even really appear to be an option.

And then there’s this. Shi Davidi appeared on Good Show with Ben Ennis and JD Bunkis on Friday to discuss Donaldson’s future with the team. He said that he isn’t sure the Jays will even tender him a qualifying offer because there’s a possibility he might accept it.

That’s, uh, a problem?

I had always figured, given Donaldson’s injury and his subsequent decrease in value, that simply qualifying him made the most sense for the organization. At best, he accepts it and comes back on a one-year show me deal. If he’s healthy and mashes like he can, maybe the Jays contend for a wild card spot. If they still suck, then they can make the trade in 2019 they weren’t able to make in 2018. Even if he doesn’t accept, Toronto would still get a compensatory draft pick out of it, which, at this point could potentially be more valuable than whatever they managed to get back for him in a trade. I mean, given what the Tigers managed to get for JD Martinez last year during an All-Star campaign, I can’t imagine the return for a rental Donaldson would be very exciting.

This is extremely strange to me. You’d think that the Jays would be all over qualifying Donaldson at this point. I mean, if you keep Donaldson around, you’re telling the fanbase you’re interested in competing in 2019 when that might not really be the case. That’s obviously a boost for season ticket sales. Beyond that, if you have Donaldson pencilled in as your third baseman, it becomes a hell of a lot easier to justify keeping Vlad in Triple-A to manipulate his service time. I have a feeling nobody is going to buy into any Brandon Drury hype at this point.

I never expected the Jays to hand Donaldson a long-term deal in free agency given his age and potential to rapidly decline, but I really can’t see the issue with bringing him back for another year. Am I missing something here?

Wouldn’t you want this kind of guy around your rookies as they break into the league?

    • Kristen Sprague

      A few months ago I though there would be no way he accepts the QO because it was way less than what he makes this year. His season has so gone off the rails that I’m not so sure now.

      • Nice Guy Eddie

        If the Blue Jays have insurance on AA’s joke Tulowitzki contract, the premium are the same as his salary. Are some people really so detached from reality that they think insurance companies are going to take nickels on the dollar to pay off some perennial DL dud like Tulowitzki and lose money?

      • Rob Ray

        As I am to understand insurance, it only applies if the player does not play in a single game during the season. It was reported the last year of Len Dykstra’s contract with the Phillies he was owed 6 or 7 million and could have played the last two months of the season but the Phillies weren’t going anywhere and chose to sit him and collect the insurance money (which by the way, is never more than 90% of the money owed, meaning the most the Jays recouped from Tulo s insurance would have been 90%. I heard J.P. Riccardi say this and the Phillies management when the decided not to play Dykstra.) Tprobably explains the real reason Tulo never played this year. Also we don’t know for sure if they had insurance on Tulo, but you’d assume they’d insure any big contract. Donaldson obviously isn’t covered because he actually played this year.

    • Nice Guy Eddie

      I like that some moron trashed your post. Your point was a simple one – that if he does next year what Tulo did this year, that’s pissing $40 million down the drain. An obvious point that some moron thinks is contentious.

  • ErnieWhitt

    Qualifying him is literally the best case scenario. You sign him for a cheaper rate with no extended term. Like – I don’t even know how to respond if they don’t see that. If he’s Josh of old, then you have a top 10 bat in MLB for a huge discount. If he never regains his form: cool – you ddon’t owe him years beyond this one and can still possibly trade him at the deadline next year.

    Their payroll is going to be tiny next season. I have no idea how someone could spin qualifying Josh as a bad thing – except in reference to what they missed out on by not trading him to the Cardinals prior to the season.

      • ErnieWhitt

        Their total payroll is still going down so I don’t see why the distribution of it on the roster even matters in a year where you’re going to have young, cheap players all over the diamond.

    • Nice Guy Eddie

      Ernie, you don’t know how to respond as you don’t understand the issues. Toronto already has to piss $20 million down the toilet next year for AA’s great shortstop. Troy Tulowitzki. Tulo won’t play a lick. They also have to piss another $20 million down the backup catcher toilet. What will they gain from pissing another $20 million on JD? What exactly do you think he’ll gain them? They’re not going to compete. If he plays, he’s not going to get them a prospect worth $20 million. If he doesn’t play it’s an obvious waste. What is the upside of throwing $20 million at JD? None that I can see.

      • Manny b

        Eddie, how many times you going to say the same thing? The article states the reasons for offering the QO. You’re entitled to your opinion, but your argument doesn’t make sense from a team perspective. Sure they have dead money on the books, but they have lots coming off the books too. The only rational explanation I can see is if there’s a health problem they’re worried about.

        Stop repeating the same stuff.

      • ErnieWhitt

        You don’t think that signing JD for one year might pay dividends at the trade deadline next season? He’ll gain them as much as any player on the roster currently could. Glad I could walk you through that,

  • ErnieWhitt

    I just listened again because I wanted to give Shi the benefit of the doubt, but its even worse. Every reason that a contender might want to low-ball the Jays at this point is the same reason why the Jays should look at the QO as a bargain.

    And the idea that having Josh Donaldson around will block Guerrero is absurd – ESPECIALLY given the injury luck of this team right now. Let’s face the facts: Vlad isn’t coming up until they pass the the threshold for the extra year of control. That means a month or so at the beginning of the year where there is no conflict at 3b at all. Then – is the idea that when they do call up Vlad he’s there automatic every-day 3b with no room for sharing or playing another position? Are we saying that a Donaldson who is a year older, is going to need no days at DH to maintain himself? You don’t build a roster by only having one good player at each position. You try to get the best players and sometimes you have to get creative.. or at least thats the impression I got when the Blue Jays played without a real SS for like a month this year.

    Finally – the one critique of any seriousness that anyone has leveled at Vlad Jr. this year is that he’s still got a ways to go defensively. Should we maybe have him learn from the best 3B the org has ever had? All to possibly save a couple million dollars that they will likely just spend on 2 or 3 semi-garbage players with positional “flexibility”? C’mon!

    • Paul Beestons Grass Surface

      I haven’t see Vlad play, but have read numerous comments about his defense and the work it needs. Ultimately, the Jays should decide if he sticks at third and if not, where does he go? I had read previously, that he was not thrilled with playing in the outfield…so that leaves first base. If they decide to offer JD a QO, then look at playing Vlad at first. Get him some reps in Arizona, and/or winter baseball at first, and then he plays there all spring and the first 6 weeks or so of the season in Buffalo. With the cheap contract, they could hold onto Smoak, but realistically, this gives them the chance to move Smoak for something. Even out of respect for him. Also, when offering JD the QO, perhaps let it be known, that they want him to play first base. With all the injuries, including should issues, it might be time for the move for him. So there are a few possibilities, and although mostly a supporter of the FO, I have to admit, the shine is wearing off. Here’s hoping that they are open to these possibilities and do not shy away because…..I have no idea why they would…but who knows.

    • Manny b

      I can’t figure it out either. This FO is not stupid. Asset management, etc. Only 2 reasons I can see for not offering the qo: a chronic injury, or some kind of clubhouse issue.

      Both seem far fetched.

      • Paul Beestons Grass Surface

        I wonder if they still have that small club mentality at times….and before anyone says it yes they splash money around in trades for better prospects but its almost like they are trying out a concept they could not so in Cle.

      • Nice Guy Eddie

        Well there is the reason of pissing $20 million a year down a sewer. They already have to piss $20 million a year down a sewer every year on Tulo, thanks to AA. They also have to piss $20 million down a sewer for a backup catcher. Unless they were to get something back in a trade worth $20 million, which is high unlikely, why would you sign Donaldson? I think it’s obvious he will be gone. He couldn’t stay health enough this year to be traded, and the best thing for us is that he turned down the club’s offer to sign.

      • Paul Beestons Grass Surface

        How the fuck would you know dipshit? When I was growing up and playing ball, whenever I jumped a level, I learned a lot from the older guys, especially the one who I would replace as they progressed up the ladder. You are an ignorant fucking asshole!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • ErnieWhitt

        I wasn’t implying he would learn the position from Donaldson. Thank you for being so basic. I was implying that having Donaldson around would be beneficial for a 19 year old for many reasons, including watching how a former MVP prepares and puts in work.

  • Jroc

    I just think they’re scared of the financials. After dropping 500k in ticket sales this year the budget might get slashed. Paying 75M for tulo, Martin, Morales and Donaldson might be crippling.

  • Hentgen

    I can possibly see a down side to qualifying JD and him accepting. Even if he’s absolute dogshit, it’s not like if that money were saved it would be reallocated somewhere else. It would be just gone. There’s no downside here, so I don’t get Shi on this at all.

  • Nice Guy Eddie

    I would be hesitant to give him a QO as well. You can’t give a second one, so there is no draft pick at the end of 2019. And if he sits on the DL next year again, as he has for the last two, he’s worthless on the trade market. Even if he plays, is he going to bring back an asset worth $20million? Highly unlikely. As for the suggestion that bringing him back will up season ticket sales, this was obviously written by a kid and not someone who buys seasons tickets. Season ticket holders have no illusions that Josh Donaldson is going to make the 2019 version a playoff team. In summary, I can easily see why they would be reluctant to throw another $20 million down the toilet, when they will be throwing $20 million down a toilet for the Tulowitzki joke contract that AA acquired, and the $20 million they are paying to a second string catcher.

    • Dillon

      You are just the worst. I mean, it’s kind of you to count Rogers’ money for them, but stop. You’re talking about all of this as if you understand the first thing about asset management, but you understand just enough to make yourself look like a complete jackass.

      If you can’t QO him a second time, it has as much value as if you QO him this time and he doesn’t play at all. No draft pick either way. The only loss is $20 million of NOT YOUR FUCKING MONEY. Also, when you say he “sat on the DL the last two years”, you of course realize that he was worth 5 WAR in just 113 games in 2017 right? Don’t want to gamble NOT YOUR FUCKING MONEY on that guy? Cool. Do you.

      Is he going to bring back an asset worth $20 million of NOT YOUR FUCKING MONEY THAT WON’T MAKE THE 2019 TEAM GOOD ANYWAYS?!?! Probably not! Whatever he brings back is better than nothing though! As is the draft pick if he turns down a QO.

      Season’s ticket holders have no illusions that Josh Donaldson will make the the 2019 team a playoff team? Cool. Neither will $20 million spent anywhere else.

      Again, that’s kind of you to look out for Rogers shareholders (which I assume you have to be, because that’s the ONLY reason I can fathom that you give a single flying fuck whether or not they take a $20 million gamble on one of the best players this franchise has ever had the privilege of paying), but there is no baseball reason not to at least dangle the QO in front of him and see what happens.

      Unless they know for sure he’s broken forever, which will make me very sad.

      • Nice Guy Eddie

        Dillon’s point seems to be IT’S NOT MY MONEY and because IT’S NOT MY MONEY, apparently we should expect that it should be spent stupidly. PIssed down a toilet, with the $ for Tulo and Martin. Because IT”S NOT MY MONEY. Clever point, by an obviously clever guy. I mean, who would have ever suspected that because IT’S NOT MY MONEY it should therefore be pissed away. Thanks Dillon.

        • Dillon

          I generally try to avoid feeding the trolls, but seeing as how it’s the dog days and I’m bored, I’ll try to steer you towards the point that you’re doing an impressive job of missing.

          Pissing NOT YOUR MONEY down the toilet is only a problem if it then can’t be spent somewhere that will make the team competitive. Unless, of course, you’re under the impression that the team running a lower payroll will make for cheaper tickets or something, in which case I’ve got a bridge I think you’ll be interested in. The 2019 team won’t be competitive (barring some miracle) anyways, so giving Donaldson a QO doesn’t matter for us fans. If he’s the Donaldson we know and love, they can trade him for more than they’ll get now. If he’s not, it’s a one year commitment and we can kiss him goodbye for no less than they’d get by not QO’ing him.

          Your assumption that it’ll be pissed away is based on the assumption that a) he’ll even accept it, and b) that if he does he’ll be hurt all season/terrible. Seeing as how you don’t know sweet fuck all about either one of those things, your take on the matter is objectively (and probable intentionally, you fucking troll) dumb.

          I’m completely prepared to acknowledge that the FO knows more about that than either of us do, but based on what we as fans know they’d have to be pretty damn sure that he’ll be a sub-average major leaguer next year to not even bother offering it. Seeing as how he put up All Star numbers in just 2/3 of a season last year, I’ll take the over.

  • BOJACK Vince Horseman

    Is everyone forgetting that perhaps the people who see and evaluate him every day might know more about the potential for recurrent / non healing soft tissue injury with regards to this player? Just a guess here, but perhaps their evaluations have lead them to believe there is a more than even chance this injury will linger into the future and thus reduces the chances he is 1. effective 2. even plays.

  • sparklenshine

    if, if, if….I have looked at this headline for the past 2 days and resisted the article until I was to bored not too. There’s too many if’s surrounding JD. TBJ will have $60M tied up in 3 guys if they offer him a QO and he accepts. Methinks the only one worried about being offered a QO is his agent; No way this FO offers him one. They’re ready to move on…and what do you mean… ‘”if” they are interested in competing next year’?…what team are you watching, clearly they are in rebuild mode and will not compete for a couple of years. Vlad’s selling tickets next year not JD. This FO (and the discerning fan) has seen JD become something of an entitled princess who comes to spring training the past 2 years in terrible shape resulting in the 2 worst years of his career… maybe give Vikings and preening a break and think about the fans and his teammates. He’s done…period. He will not regain the lofty heights. It’s too bad cuz when he was on he was amongst the best. Money and awards…not everyone can handle the adulation without it going to their head..and there’s a new dynamic in baseball: very few are going to get paid like they have in the past….wow, look at the landscape littered with $20.M+ players who underperformed over the past 2 seasons…things ain’t what they used to be and neither are some of the players.

  • lukewarmwater

    The Canadian health ministry will soon be giving a press conference on the effect of the severely loud noise of millions of remotes clicking off at the same time in today’s first inning. People have been warned to see their doctor if their hearing is still being affected tomorrow