LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Blue Jays continue to insist that they are not shopping star third baseman Josh Donaldson, but that hasn't stopped other teams from calling.According to an early Thursday morning report from MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, St. Louis has continued its push for the former
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Blue Jays continue to insist that they are not shopping star third baseman Josh Donaldson, but that hasn't stopped other teams from calling.
According to an early Thursday morning report from MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, St. Louis has continued its push for the former American League MVP Award winner. The report also stated that Toronto remains "disinclined" to move Donaldson, and there is no indication that a deal is close.
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That news matches up with what the Blue Jays have been saying all along. Toronto technically has not come out and directly stated there is no chance that Donaldson will get dealt, but the club has come pretty close to saying that. The expectation remains that Donaldson will open the year with the Blue Jays and the club will re-evaluate its situation at some point during the regular season.
"If we're thinking about making this organization better every day, it's really hard to imagine making it better without Josh," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said earlier this week while declining to comment on whether the two sides have opened contract negotiations. "Certainly, the team as it stands, it would be extremely difficult to make the team better. He's one of the best players in the game."
Donaldson is arbitration-eligible for the third and final time this offseason. He is eligible for free agency at the end of 2018 and has expressed a desire in the past to sign a long-term contract with Toronto, but the cost is expected to be very high. To date, there have been no indications that the Blue Jays and Donaldson have engaged in serious contract negotiations.
Even after finalizing a deal with the Marlins for Marcell Ozuna on Thursday, the Cardinals are seeking an upgrade to their lineup, and the focus appears to be centered around the infield. Multiple reports out of the Winter Meetings have suggested St. Louis is also making a strong run at Baltimore's Manny Machado, which would have a direct impact on any talks with Toronto.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.