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.
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.