Usually, waiver wire trades do not include the higher profile names around the league. Mostly this is because the way the waiver process works limits a player’s market and teams generally pull the really good players back off of waivers unless they get a massive return or they are desperate to unload salary.
There are exceptions to this as we have seen high profile waiver wire deals in recent years, but for the most part these deals involve relievers, guys at the end of deals who profile as bench bats, and the leftovers of the trade deadline.
However, in the case of Josh Donaldson, he found himself in a unique situation. Donaldson wasn’t traded at the non-waiver deadline because he was injured and it wasn’t even clear if he was going to be able to play again in 2018. However, he has begun a rehab assignment and, given he is in the last year of his deal with the Blue Jays, Toronto floated him through the waiver process and started to shop him around. It appears that they have found a taker.
Sources: Josh Donaldson has been told he's been traded to the Cleveland Indians.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 1, 2018
Donaldson has been one of the more formidable hitters over the last several seasons which included an MVP win in 2015 and a couple top 5 finishes along the way while averaging an .873 OPS in his eight seasons in the majors. His injuries to his calf this season have certainly put a damper on his stock, but when he is healthy, he is a difference maker on offense. For an Indians team that is in need of some more offensive options beyond Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor, the fit is a good one even if it will require a bit of roster juggling to make it work.
There is no word yet on the return for the Blue Jays, but Toronto may want to temper their expectations a bit there. This deal is for just a month of a Josh Donaldson of questionable health.