As the Cardinals continue their search for bullpen help, perhaps another hitter and maybe a starter, word in Toronto is that the Blue Jays haven’t really made any attempt to lock down star third baseman Josh Donaldson to a long-term deal and may be agreeable to moving him. Donaldson, finishing off a two-year, $28.6 million contract, is arbitration eligible and could command close to $25 million for next season. It is after the season that is the question. Donaldson could be a free agent and the Cardinals have said they are loathe to give up years of control over potential prospects they might trade for perhaps just one year of Donaldson or Baltimore’s Manny Machado, who seems very likely to file for free agency after next season if he is traded or not. Donaldson, who is 32, may not be as eager to file for free agency then and often has voiced a desire to stay in Toronto. As the Blue Jays begin selling season tickets for next year, it might behoove management to make it clear that Donaldson either will be with the club or not so. So, the issue is what would they want if they trade him? A Major League Baseball source familiar with the Jays said Toronto probably would want two major leaguers — such as a third baseman and a starting pitcher — and a prospect. The Cardinals have two starting third basemen in Matt Carpenter and Jedd Gyorko. They also have a spare outfielder in power hitter Randal Grichuk. The Cardinals also have young starting pitching, but would they risk it for the possibility of only one year of Donaldson, who had 33 homers last season while missing nearly 50 games because of injury? Two or more prospects would seem to be something the Cardinals would not do with Toronto.
Trading for Donaldson could be too risky for Cardinals
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Dec 21