Josh Donaldson’s rough season has taken a positive turn.
The 2015 AL MVP was traded Friday night by Toronto to the Cleveland Indians, who are hoping a healthy Donaldson can bolster their lineup and help them get back to the World Series.
The Indians sent a player to be named to the Blue Jays for cash considerations and Donaldson, who has been limited to 36 games this season because of injuries. The third baseman played in his first game since May 28 earlier this week during a rehab stint in Florida and the Indians are satisfied he’s worth taking on for the season’s final month and then into October.
In Cleveland, the right-handed hitting Donaldson will be reunited with Indians slugger Edwin Encarnacion, his former teammate in Toronto.
“He’s great player, man,” Encarnacion said after the Indians beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0 and before the trade was official. “If it happens, everybody is gonna be excited here. He’s a great guy.”
The 32-year-old Donaldson was the league’s top player in 2015, when he batted .297 with 41 homers and 123 RBIs. Slowed by a calf injury, Donaldson batted .234 with five homers and 16 RBIs this year for the Blue Jays.
It’s not clear if Donaldson will join the Indians right away or continue to rehab in the minors. Also, the Indians have a tough decision to make as to where to play him. Cleveland manager Terry Francona does not want to move All-Star Jose Ramirez from third to second base this late in the season.
But if Donaldson can play every day, the Indians will switch Ramirez back to second for the second year in a row. Last season, they moved second baseman Jason Kipnis to center field for the last month and playoffs.
Donaldson began his career with Oakland.
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