Bob Nightengale reports that the Cardinals “are expected to strongly pursue” Josh Donaldson this offseason.
Donaldson is not a free agent, of course. He’s still arbitration eligible. The Blue Jays, though, dangled him at the trade deadline and may be willing to shop him again this offseason. Or maybe not: they’re letting Jose Bautista walk, obviously, but there has yet to be any suggestion that they plan to blow things up.
For his part, Donaldson has had another strong season in 2017, batting .272/.389/.564 with 33 homers and 77 RBI. He’s been particularly strong in the second half, hitting 24 of those homers and posting an OPS of 1.009 in 65 games. He missed about a month and a half between mid-April and late May with a strained calf.
Everyone needs a bat — the Cardinals particularly – and if Donaldson is available, he’d be a nice guy to get. I just sorta doubt the Jays will make him available.
The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.
In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.
Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.
Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.