A year after Justin Verlander was traded at the August trade deadline, another superstar has been dealt a year later. The Cleveland Indians acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Toronto Blue Jays, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Sources: Josh Donaldson has been told he's been traded to the Cleveland Indians.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 1, 2018
Donaldson, who has been sidelined since May 29 with a calf strain, recently began a rehab assignment. Once his rehab assignment began, Toronto placed him on trade waivers. He cleared trade waivers, which allowed Toronto to negotiate a trade with any team.
The Blue Jays reportedly found a fit with Cleveland. Donaldson, who could return after some more time in the minors on a rehab assignment, could be a difference maker in Cleveland.
When healthy, Donaldson is one of the most productive hitters in baseball. The 32-year-old entered 2018 with three consecutive seasons of 32-plus home runs and a .900-plus OPS. This season he has dealt with numerous injuries, which impacted him at the plate and limited him to a .234/.333/.423 slash line with five home runs in 36 games.
If the lower-body injuries are behind him and his swing is back, Donaldson’s impact could be similar to what we saw from Verlander with the Houston Astros in 2017. If the deal becomes official, Cleveland could shift Jose Ramirez to third base and make Jason Kipnis a utility player.
Donaldson can provide an excellent source of power and run production in the middle of the lineup and has a history of coming through in big moments. An impending free agent, Donaldson is owed roughly $4 million across the remainder of the season.