The Toronto Blue Jays returned to relevance in 2015 and followed that up with another successful season in 2016. Things took a turn for the worse for the veteran squad in 2017, however, as the Blue Jays missed the playoffs and failed to even make it to .500.
With the franchise needing a bit of a refresh, rumors this offseason have been hinting that it may be time for them to make a big move.
To be more specific, the latest rumblings are hinting that the Blue Jays may want to start thinking about what to do next with star third baseman Josh Donaldson.
There are even teams that are reportedly ready to negotiate if the Blue Jays decide that they want to move on from Donaldson.
According to a tweet from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, five teams have expressed interest in acquiring Donaldson, with three of the five remaining particularly persistent.
Heyman did note that the Blue Jays are just listening and “have no intention to trade whatsoever,” but is that really the approach they should be taking at this point?
At 32 years old, Donaldson figures to be closer to the end of his prime than to the start of it, and it is not inconceivable that his production could drop off sooner rather than later.
As seen in Baseball Reference, Donaldson’s numbers in 2017 were certainly solid enough that he does not appear to be on the brink of a drop-off. But can the Blue Jays really afford to rely on him keeping that production up?
Also, with AL East rivals Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees looking as formidable as ever, it will be difficult for the Blue Jays to remain competitive even if they do hold on to Donaldson.
In just a few short years, Donaldson has become a fan favorite in Toronto, and understandably, the franchise is hesitant to deal such a productive and beloved player.
Still, if the team wants to build for the long-term, dealing Donaldson may be something they have to do.