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Saturday, September 1, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: JOSH DONALDSON HEADS TO CLEVELAND AT LAST MINUTE BEFORE DEADLINE

With just hours to go before the MLB deadline to complete trades for players that would still be eligible for the postseason, the Cleveland Indians picked up former All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Toronto Blue Jays late Friday for cash and a player to be named.  Having not played since late May, Donaldson will man third for the Indians when he is ready to suit up, with MVP candidate Jose Ramirez going back to second base and Jason Kipnis shifting to the outfield. 

Now as far as Donaldson is concerned, to say 2018 has been a physical challenge for him would be a massive understatement.  As I noted both last season and in this spring's draft guide previewing 2018, Donaldson's years of playing an aggressive and all-out third base are really taking a toll on his body as we can see with all of the injuries the last season-plus.  While he is still just 32, Donaldson is what you would call an "old" 32 which is why the Blue Jays are willing to move him.  Once considered a slam-dunk first-round monster in yearly fantasy baseball leagues (having hit 37 homers with 116 RBI as recently as 2016), Donaldson carried just a .234 average and 5 home runs in 159 at-bats before he hit the DL with calf and general leg pain.  What was striking about Donaldson before he got hurt was his spike in strikeouts as his 27.7 K.9 was way up from 22.4 the year prior.  Age and injuries always conspire to take a chunk out of a hitter's offensive numbers and Donaldson seems to be going down that road.  With this being said, a healthy Donaldson could be a force the last month of the season in the stacked Cleveland lineup which means he should be dusted off when he does return to the lineup in the next week.  While his best days are no doubt behind him, Donaldson can still be a big help to the fantasy baseball community in September when leagues are decided. 


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