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The Sports Daily > Cards Diaspora
Report: Cardinals (Probably Not) Working On Josh Donaldson Trade

The Cardinals have won 7 out of 10 and are 4.5 games in arrears of 1st place in a brutally average NL Central.

And now that Independence day weekend has come and gone, the silly season of baseball has begun. Our next 3+ weeks will be filled with wild speculation, unsubstantiated claims and irresponsible speculation consumed, digested and evacuated in record amounts.

To wit:

Here we are only on July 5th and this ‘scoop’ is going to be hard to top for sheer inanity in 2017.

I’m interested in dating Taylor Swift, but I have had no formal discussions with her. Can we spread the word, please?

Since it’s silly season, though, this isn’t just laughed off or ignored. Instead I start getting breaking news alert push notifications:

I had to click on it just to make sure I was reading this right… the Cardinals are interested in a player on another team (a very good player at that), have not reached out to the team that currently employs said player and… ?

Your move, Mike Girsch. Welcome to the job.

Because now I’m sitting here thinking about Josh Donaldson. About how he would be an awesome fit at 3B, allowing Gyorko to be the super sub again. About how he’s be an impact threat with his bat in the 3 hole. About who the Cardinals would have to give up to get him.

You win, Internet. You win.

Ugh.

This (probably) isn’t happening. But let’s go through the motions.

Donaldson stats in 2017:

  • 41 games played (missed around 6 weeks w/ calf injury)
  • .276 average
  • 8 home runs
  • 20 RBIs
  • .353/.466/.819 slash line (OBP/SLG/OPS)
  • 1.0 WAR

Donaldson contract situation:

  • Makes 17,000,000 in 2017 (age 31 season)
  • 1 year of arbitration left (2018)
  • Free-agent in 2019

What would the Cardinals have to give up?

  • Blue Jays are done for 2017
  • They want prospects under control for several years
  • They’ll (probably) ask for Kelly, Flaherty or Weaver in a package
  • Plus a couple of other mid-tier prospects in addition

What are the chances of this happening?

PRO –

  • The Blue Jays will be sellers at the deadline
  • Cardinals could get 1.5 years of controlled time (basically 2 playoff runs)
  • Blue Jays top prospect is a 3B (Valdimir Guerrero Jr.), albeit he’s still 18
  • Cardinals have been previously rumored as a landing spot for Donaldson
  • He fills a major need for an impact bat in the middle of Cardinals order

CON –

  • Will have to part with a top prospect, which the Cardinals are loathe to do
  • He’ll at least be at 17M for 2018 and then will command a longer extension of probably 20M+ for multiple years after that
  • The Blue Jays don’t have to trade him before the deadline and can choose to wait until the off-season
  • The Cardinals might not believe they’re a contender even with Donaldson

Fun(ish) facts about Josh Donaldson:

  • 1st round draft pick of Chicago Cubs in 2007
  • His current comps according to Baseball Reference? Mike Lowell & Yoenis Cespedes
  • He gets a haircut every 10 days to maintain a style called ‘The Donaldson
  • His favorite player growing up in Mobile AL was Ron Gant then of the Braves
  • He’s good friends with former Cardinal Pat Neshek and also enjoys collecting baseball cards

Ok.

Have we wasted enough of everyone’s time today?

UPDATE [7/7]

Jon Heyman of MLB Network + FanRag Sports wrote an article with a hypothetical Cardinals/Blue Jays trade for Donaldson and this is what he said:

 Josh Donaldson, 3B, from the Jays to the Cardinals for Alex Reyes, RHP prospect, Delvin Perez, SS prospect, and Magneuris Sierra, OF prospect

That’s a steep price (even steeper than the one I speculated on above). So if you are holding out hope that this could be real, just know what a ‘baseball insider’ thinks the Jays want in exchange for Donaldson.

Photo: Sports Illustrated