At this point it should be clear that the Toronto Blue Jays aren’t simply posturing when they talk about Josh Donaldson’s short-term future. Barring an impossible-to-say-no bounty from a club desperate to push itself over the top, he’s not going anywhere, and we’ll find out where that leads in a 2018 season in which their opportunities seem limited to wild card or bust. Even after the New York Yankees’ acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton offered another opportunity to shift course – the 59-homer monster’s Hulk, Smash! rage at Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins on Monday should send shivers down the spines of American League pitchers – the Blue Jays stayed on message. They have the resources they need and all they want to do is push forward on next year. And, "If we’re thinking about making this organization better every day, it’s really hard to imagine making it better without Josh," general manager Ross Atkins said after the first day of winter meetings business at Disney’s Swan and Dolphin resort. "The team, as it stands, would be extremely difficult to make better – he’s one of the best players in the game." Repeating that sentiment as often as they have since the non-waiver trade deadline passed in July makes it an incredibly difficult pronouncement to walk back from, even if the managing of such a valuable asset as he heads into his walk year is so critical. Should Donaldson leave after next season, all the Blue Jays would get for him is a compensatory second-round draft pick. Given what the window of opportunity looks like – Houston should win the AL West, Cleveland the Central, one of Boston or the Yankees the East with the other claiming a wild card – a case can be made that they would be better off turning Donaldson into some pieces with more control. Atkins is having none of it – "There’s nothing I care less about," he said of the perception that the Yankees have sown things up – and isn’t buying the notion that if the Blue Jays plan to keep Donaldson, they had better add significantly to bolster the roster around him, lest they waste him.
Blue Jays reiterate plan to push forward with Donaldson
Sportsnet | Dec 12