The New York Yankees' stunning acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton was bound to have ripple effects beyond Miami, where fans are in an uproar, and the Bronx, where batting practice will be must-see viewing in 2018. In Boston, the Stanton acquisition has increased the pressure on general manager Dave Dombrowski to do something significant to keep pace. The Red Sox ranked last in the American League with 168 homers in 2017, and the Mitch Moreland signing didn't quite cut it as a pulse-quickening countermove. As long as J.D. Martinez is available, he will be prominent on the Red Sox front office's radar. In Baltimore and Tampa Bay, the specter of a New York-Boston smackdown in 2018 has prompted the Rays and Orioles to take stock. The Rays made a statement when they traded Evan Longoria, the franchise leader in home runs, RBIs, WAR, games played, total bases and numerous other categories, to San Francisco in the name of long-term sustainability. The Orioles, who have always been hesitant to retrench under Peter Angelos' ownership regime, gave indications they're at least contemplating the idea when they entertained trade offers for free-agent-in-waiting Manny Machado. Toronto has an impact third-base trade chip of its own in Josh Donaldson, who is held in particularly high esteem by the Cardinals. But the Jays have made it clear they have no plans to trade Donaldson, a three-time All-Star with an MVP award and two Silver Sluggers on his resume since arriving from Oakland in 2015. If the Jays decide to move him, it will be a radical departure from what they've been telling the media and potential suitors for months. "It seems like it was one rumor that came out at the trade deadline, and people have continued to build off that rumor,'' general manager Ross Atkins told ESPN.com. "We're trying to win, and I can't imagine our team being better without Josh Donaldson.'' Amid the daily updates and speculation, the Blue Jays exist in that netherworld between good enough to dream and perpetually outgunned. They're a big-market club with ample resources under the auspices of Rogers Communications, and they feel an obligation to put a competitive product on the field in recognition of the 3.2 million fans who came out to see the team in 2017. Only the Dodgers, Cardinals, Giants and Yankees drew more.
Blue Jays GM: 'I can't imagine our team being better without Josh Donaldson'
ESPN | Dec 23