The Cardinals are still exploring the possibility of acquirng the Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson, but there are concerns about acquiring the star third baseman if he becomes available, according to Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Hummel says the “word” is that Toronto has not “really any attempt” to sign the 32-year-old Donaldson to an extension and ”may be agreeable to move him.” Donaldson is in the final year of his two-year, $28.65 million deal and is arbitration eligible.
This news comes a day after Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Cardinals have been ”pursuing Donaldson much stronger“ than Orioles star third baseman Manny Machado, who is also a top player on the current trade market and is free agent after this season. Nightengale says the Cardinals would probably have “a much better chance” to ink Donaldson to a long-term deal than Machado, who is more than likely to test free agency regardless if he is traded or stays in Baltimore.
But, Hummel says the Cardinals do not want to give up a ton of young talent for just renting Donaldson (or Machado) for a year, even though they are in desperate need of a power hitter. Hummel says a source familiar with the Jays said they “probably would want two major leaguers — such as a third baseman and a starting pitcher — and a prospect.“
Donaldson has proven he is worth having in the lineup, as he smacked 33 homers in 113 games in a 2017 season that was held back by injury. In the three seasons prior, Donaldson 29, 41 and 37 homers, respectively, earning an All-Star selection in all three seasons.