Derek Jeter has yet to play this season, his shortstop fill-in Eduardo Nunez is on the disabled list with an oblique injury, and now the fill-in’s fill-in, Jayson Nix, is on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Nix has been the Yankees’ primary shortstop since mid-May, but has hit just .236 with two homers and a .607 OPS in 73 games. Of course, that looks like pretty solid production compared to the infielder the Yankees just signed to fill his roster spot, Luis Cruz, who was let go by the Dodgers earlier this week after hitting .127 in 45 games.
So now the Yankees are on their fourth-string shortstop and Cruz has gone from being employed by the team with MLB’s second-highest payroll to being employed by the team with MLB’s highest payroll.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.