Josh Donaldson, the 2015 American League MVP, is reportedly available for the taking. But should the Yankees roll the dice and make an offer?
On the surface, the temptation is a big one. His stat line in 2015 was tremendous. He blasted 41 home runs and added 123 RBI with a .297 batting average. Just last season his line read 33 home runs 78 RBI and hit .270. And he had five home runs before his calf injury in May. That’s five home runs in 36 games.
And with Greg Bird struggling, the added bat would be a welcome one. Manager Aaron Boone has been extremely patient with Bird. But that patience seems to be wearing thin as he shuffles his cards at first base.
“I mean, I talk to him all the time,’’ Boone said, according to lohud.com. “And kind of just, behind the scenes as best we can, we’re just trying to get him…to build positive momentum through his work.”
So do the Yankees hang in there with Bird? If not, is Donaldson an option? Donaldson has played third base most of his career. But he has played a handful of games at first base. So, he is not unfamiliar with the position.
If the Yankees are to go after Donaldson, it would have to be quick. If he is not claimed off waivers, the Yankees and Blue Jays would have to make a trade by 11:59 on August 31 for him to be eligible for the postseason.
Is he truly healthy? And what would the Blue Jays want in return? Justus Sheffield is certainly off limits. With Donaldson likely gone after the season, what would the move do to the psyche of Greg Bird for next year?
At this point, there are more questions than answers. The Yankees didn’t give up on Didi Gregorius when he had his initial struggles. They haven’t given up on Gary Sanchez. So why doesn’t Bird deserve that same chance?