Josh Donaldson Trade Rumors: Blue Jays Unlikely to Move 3B in Offseason

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2017

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 31: Josh Donaldson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on after being forced out in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 31, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Toronto Blue Jays may be 66-77 after Sunday's win over the Detroit Tigers, but it doesn't appear they're ready to begin building for the future.

FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reported Thursday the Blue Jays wouldn't consider trading third baseman Josh Donaldson unless the deal strengthened their major league roster next year. Heyman added some in Toronto's front office believe the team can contend in 2018.

Donaldson is under team control for one more season before hitting free agency in 2019.

Team president Mark Shapiro's time with the Cleveland Indians would be the only reason to expect a Donaldson trade could happen. While he served as the Indians general manager, Shapiro dealt the likes of Victor Martinez, Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia because he knew Cleveland didn't have the money to re-sign them when their contracts expired.

Finances are less of an issue for the Blue Jays, who have the fourth-highest payroll in MLB, according to Spotrac.

Donaldson is batting .254 with 25 home runs and 64 RBI. While he's not hitting the ball at the same level he did during his MVP season in 2015, he's still eighth among third baseman in WAR (3.4), according to FanGraphs.

Donaldson will be 33 by the time his next contract kicks in, so figuring out the details of his next deal will be tricky for Toronto. But Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins can cross that bridge when it comes.

If the Blue Jays are focused on posting a winning record in 2018, then keeping Donaldson is clearly their best move.

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