The St. Louis Cardinals will miss the playoffs this year, but with a talented core of players they’re poised to contend again in 2018. Their chances of returning to the post-season would improve if they could acquire a middle-of-the-order bat, and to that end they’re expected to “strongly pursue” Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson this winter, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. It’s hardly surprising to see Donaldson in trade rumours as he enters his final year of arbitration eligibility, but interest from other teams doesn’t mean the Blue Jays will actually trade the 31-year-old. He’s Toronto’s best player and his presence on the roster makes the club’s publicly stated goal of contending in 2018 seem much more realistic. Donaldson missed time early in the season because of a calf injury, but he has recovered from a slow start and now has 33 home runs with a .272/.389/.564 batting line. Those stat set him up for a substantial raise from his current salary of $17 million in 2018, his last season under team control before hitting free agency.