So the Josh Donaldson news last night was obviously disappointing. After becoming one of the greatest Blue Jays in franchise history over the past three seasons, the end of the Josh Donaldson era netted the team a Player To Be Named Later.
Obviously we’d love to immediately have a prospect to attach to the departure of Donaldson. But, according to Ross Atkins, the PTBNL is a prospect who will impact the big league team in a significant way. That sounds good!
#BlueJays GM Ross Atkins says PTBNL in Josh Donaldson deal is set, not contingent at all on JD's health. Described him as "a near-term prospect that will impact our major-league team in a significant way."
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) September 1, 2018
The story is that this prospect is on Cleveland’s 40-man roster and they didn’t get through waivers after the July 31 deadline and thus couldn’t be dealt until the off-season. I would assume that this PTBNL isn’t going to be named right now because they might have a role with Cleveland down the stretch. I mean, they are on the 40-man, so anything is possible.
Who might that be? Scanning Cleveland’s top prospects lists and their 40-man results in a few names that fit the criteria.
Age 24, sixth round pick in 2014 from San Diego State University; hit .264/.344/.357 with two homers, 21 steals, 22 walks, 55 strikeouts in 258 at-bats in Double-A, then .229/.282/.343 in 35 major league at-bats; broken hamate cost him eight weeks and may have impacted his hitting; relies on above-average speed and defense for value but he’s got a lot to offer in those categories, gets on base, and might develop more power than he showed in ’17. ETA 2018. – Minor League Ball
Age 22, signed out of Taiwan in 2013; hit .220/.312/.461 with 24 homers, 11 steals, 52 walks, 134 strikeouts in 440 at-bats in Double-A; interesting dichotomy between scouting reports of polished bat and line drive approach vs. numbers that seem more like a free swinger, though all agree he has unusual power for a middle infielder; range, arm, and reliability all good enough for shortstop but he’s blocked there with the Indians; could be super-utility type with power bat. ETA late 2018. – Minor League Ball
Age 23, fourth round pick in 2016 from UC Santa Barbara; hittable but overall performing reasonably in first major league trial, 4.37 ERA in 68 innings, 71/15 K/BB, but 81 hits; assuming good health I think he will make necessary adaptions and be an above-average starter eventually. – Minor League Ball
The rumour is that it’s Julian Merryweather, which is, uh, sorta underwhelming.
Chris Antonetti, Cleveland's president of baseball ops, on the PTBNL sent to the #BlueJays for Josh Donaldson: “We’re going to end up giving up a good player." Neither team is confirming, but as mentioned yesterday, player is expected to be RHP Julian Merryweather.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) September 2, 2018