On August 31st, the Cleveland Indians acquired former AL MVP Josh Donaldson from the Toronto Blue Jays in an attempt to bolster their postseason roster. Donaldson has only played 36 games this season, due to three DL stints. The move is unorthodox, and apparently, has contending teams upset.
The Boston Red Sox were the only team actually named by Ken Rosenthal in his report on the situation, but he essentially states that teams have contacted the Commissioner’s Office seeking clarification as to why the deal was allowed. Either that, or to express concerns over the circumstances surrounding this deal. Rosenthal also reports that the timing of the deal “rankled baseball people in both leagues”.
Rosenthal offers the argument made by irritated clubs, noting:
“To the irritated clubs, Donaldson’s status amounted to a contradiction: He was sufficiently recovered from a left-calf injury to go on revocable trade waivers and get dealt, but not healthy enough to join the Indians immediately, requiring another trip to the disabled list instead.“
The Indians activated Donaldson after acquiring him, but soon placed him back on the disabled list. The MLB rules state that if a player suffers a re-occurrence of an injury while on a rehab assignment, that player must remain inactive for five days. However, since the Indians activated him right away, they didn’t have to wait.
Should teams be upset about this trade? On one hand, the anger is understandable. This trade could potentially alter the postseason in a huge way, and this loophole would be at the epicenter. On the flip side, the Indians went through the rule book, saw that it was a legal thing to do, and executed it. Can you really blame them for trying to maximize their chances of winning?
I don’t believe teams should be upset over this trade. If you don’t like it, then focus on getting your team ready and beat Cleveland in the postseason. By doing so, none of this really matters, does it?
Photo Credit: Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer