Donaldson HRs in rehab game as clock ticks

August 29th, 2018

TORONTO -- The saga surrounding Josh Donaldson took yet another turn on Thursday afternoon when the three-time All Star homered in his first at-bat during a rehab game for Class A Advanced Dunedin.
Donaldson's solo shot to left-center field came approximately 24 hours after it was revealed that he was not available to play on Wednesday because of soreness in his legs. Dunedin's game that night was postponed, but Donaldson was not scheduled to start even if rain was not a factor.
The 32-year-old began a rehab assignment with Dunedin on Tuesday night and went 1-for-2 with a walk. He resumed his rehab on Thursday and went 1-for-3 while playing six innings at third base in the first game of a doubleheader. Donaldson grounded out to third base in his second at-bat and flied out to the warning track in right field during his third.
In the field, Donaldson was charged with a fielding error and caught a popup. He has been out since May 28 with what the club has called a strained left calf muscle, but he could possibly be nearing a return.
It's believed that the Blue Jays are hoping to move Donaldson to another team before the end of the week. Teams have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday to acquire players and have them eligible for the postseason. That still might be able to happen with Donaldson, but his health, or lack thereof, will be a major sticking point.
According to a source, there are three criteria for trading a player who is about to be removed from the disabled list:
1. The player has served the minimum amount of DL time and is eligible to be reinstated.
2. The club trading the player in question certifies that he is healthy.
3. The player will be active on the Major League roster immediately upon joining his new team.
The only way Donaldson can be traded is for the Blue Jays to confirm that he is healthy, and for Major League Baseball's medical director to confirm that is the case along with the medical staff of whatever team he goes to. It's still unclear whether Donaldson would pass any of those tests one day away from the postseason roster deadline.
If Donaldson is claimed on waivers, the Blue Jays will have three options at their disposal:
1. Work out a standard trade with the claiming club within 48 hours.
2. Allow Donaldson -- and all money remaining on his contract -- to go to the claiming club with no return.
3. Pull Donaldson back off waivers.
The issue is Donaldson has to be healthy in order for any of that to happen, and it's unclear whether that will be the case by Friday night.