The circumstances of the Cleveland Indians’ waiver deadline acquisition of former Blue Jays star third baseman Josh Donaldson has drawn the ire of multiple teams, including the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
The issue is the unclear health status of Donaldson, who has not played in the majors since May 28 because of a calf injury and began a minor league rehab assignment on August 29th. He was traded to Cleveland just before the August 31st deadline, meaning he is eligible to play for the Indians in the postseason.
By rule, a player must be certified as healthy in order to be placed on trade waivers. The Athletic reported that following a dispute with the Blue Jays over his health, Donaldson agreed he was healthy after the MLB Players Association got involved in the process, allowing Toronto to place him on waivers.
The unusual sequence around the trade, according to The Athletic, irritated multiple other teams, specifically those that may have to contend with Donaldson playing for the Indians in the AL playoffs.
“I guess he got reinjured on the plane,” an unnamed executive told The Athletic.
According to the report, Donaldson knew on Aug. 29 that he was not healthy enough to play in the majors and was worried that he would reinjure his calf, potentially harming his value as a free agent next winter.
Donaldson’s agent contacted the players’ union, which contacted MLB to communicate the third baseman’s concerns, according to The Athletic. A league official then contacted potentially interested teams to notify them of Donaldson’s health concerns.
Donaldson went unclaimed on waivers and was ultimately traded to the Indians, who met with the veteran third baseman after the deal to evaluate his health and—now that he is healthy—the only problems associated with him are the ones the former AL MVP can give the Red Sox and Yankees.
Source: The Athletic