The Oakland Athletics have traded All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson to the Toronto Blue Jays for a bucket of baseballs and two bags of chips. Okay, the Blue Jays are actually sending Infielder Brett Lawrie, right-handed pitcher Kendall Graveman, left-handed pitcher Sean Nolin and shortstop Franklin Barreto.
Donaldson is arbitration eligible (Super Two season) this year and after seeing the kind of money the Mariners gave Seager, Beane may have felt that he had no choice – since he wouldn’t have that kind of money available to extend him – but to deal Donaldson now while he could get the most in return.
With additional rumors flying that Jeff Samardzjia could be traded as well, it appears on the surface that Oakland may be looking at a rebuilding year in 2015. While that’s good news for Seattle, it doesn’t help that one of the teams that were in the thick of the AL Wild-Card race with Seattle last year – Toronto – has been making moves to improve their club while Seattle has essentially sat idle.
Seattle has been searching for a right-handed bat, as Donaldson is, but the M’s do not need a third baseman for at least the next seven years and it would have been presumably difficult to justify trading for Donaldson and making him a DH. Regardless, the fact that other teams are signing players and making moves has to be unnerving to many Mariners fans.
But the Winter Meetings are just over a week away. I can only imagine a flurry of deals will be unleashed while the club representatives are in San Diego. I’m sure the M’s will be apart of it.
But in the meantime, the one move the M’s have made – extend Seager – seems to have had some unintended benefits already. And that’s something.