Many St. Louis Cardinals fans, bloggers, and sports writers are intrigued by Josh Donaldson and what he can do for the Cardinal offense. But the Cards should stay away from the aging, now injury prone Blue Jay.
The St. Louis Cardinals need offensive help and many names have been thrown out as possible mid season trades. These names include the Oriole’s Manny Machado, the Royal’s Mike Moustakas, and the Blue Jays Josh Donaldson.
In an recent USA Today article, Bob Nightingale picked Josh Donaldson to land with our very own St. Louis Cardinals. Redbird Rants co-editor Dr. Michael Miles wrote a piece about Nightingale’s article and advocated the Cardinals should grab Donaldson while they can. You can read Dr. Miles’ piece here: St. Louis Cardinals: USA Today predicts Josh Donaldson to Cards
I understand the temptation for going after Josh Donaldson. From 2013-2016, Donaldson never played in less than 155 games. In his eight year major league career he has averaged 33 HR, 102 RBI, and has a OPS of .873. He was also the American League’s 2015 MVP, he has two Silver Slugger awards, and a three time all star. Very Impressive.
Also, the Cardinals and the Blue Jays have recently made good trade partners. An argument could be make that another trade could be beneficial for both franchises.
However, I think that trading for Josh Donaldson would be too risky and a move the Cardinals would likely regret. Why? The 32 year old Donaldson is beginning show “wear and tear”.
In 2017, Donaldson only played in 113 games and missed six weeks with a strained calf in his right leg. On March 30th of this year he was diagnosed with dead arm syndrome and was put on the DL on April 13th for three weeks.
On June 1st, Donaldson returned to the 10 day DL with a strained calf in this left leg. So far in 2018, he as only played in 36 games.
Nevertheless, even though Donaldson playing time has been limited in the last two seasons due to injuries, a strong case can be made to make a deal. When healthy, Josh Donaldson is still an effective offensive player. In 2017, in only 113 games, he had 33 HR, 78 RBI, and a OPS of .944. So far in 2018, in 36 games, he has 5 HR, 16 RBI, and a .757 OPS.
Josh Donaldson is currently playing with a one year $23 million contract he signed with the Blue Jays in January to avoid salary arbitration. The Blue Jays are currently 30-35 and sit 14 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East.
Will the Toronto Blue Jays trade Josh Donaldson before the trade deadline? Or will they keep Donaldson, hope he rejects a qualifying offer and receive a draft pick.
If the Blue Jays trade Donaldson before the trade deadline, they will likely want young controllable talent, something the St. Louis Cardinals can offer. The Cardinals are rich in organizational pitching and outfield depth, something the Blue Jays could use.
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Should the St. Louis Cardinals dip into their deep minor league system and make a deal for Donaldson with the Blue Jays? If so, how much talent should the Cardinals be willing to give up for Josh Donaldson?
These are the questions the St. Louis Cardinals will have to face if dealing not only for Donaldson, but also for Machado or Moustakas.
However, I think the Cardinals should avoid the injury riddled Donaldson and save their talent for a possible attempt at Manny Machado, Mike Moustakas, or even a bullpen piece.
As recent games has shown, the bullpen has become an issue and the constant shuffle of arms from Memphis, doesn’t seem to be paying off. Relievers who the Cardinals had hoped to depend on have either not been yet been effective, or are jumping on and off the DL.
Therefore, the St. Louis Cardinals should focus on Manny Machado or Mike Moustakas, along with a strong bullpen piece. Machado and Moustakas are both younger and currently healthier than Donaldson.
The cost for both of them will be higher, but the Cardinals are likely get a higher reward than with Josh Donaldson.
That’s my opinion. What is yours? Let us know and thanks for reading.