Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson is expected to begin an official rehab stint at High-A Dunedin in the next 48 hours, per a report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. Assuming he makes significant progress over the next few days, he could be placed on revocable trade waivers by August 31 and finish out the season on a playoff-bound roster before entering free agency in the fall.
Not much has been heard from the 32-year-old infielder this summer. Donaldson experienced left calf tightness after running the bases in late May and was later diagnosed with a calf strain, which has left him laid up on the disabled list ever since. While it’s been a full three months since he appeared in any major or minor league games, he began ramping up the intensity of his workouts last week with the goal of being game-ready by September. Granted, his lengthy recovery process spoiled any hopes the Blue Jays had of flipping the three-time All-Star at the trade deadline this summer, but they might still be able to dump some or all of his $23 million salary if they can find the right buyer by the end of the week.
Prior to the incident, Donaldson slashed .234/.333/.423 with five home runs, a .757 OPS and career-worst 0.6 fWAR through 159 plate appearances for the club, a far cry from the .270 average and 5.1 fWAR he amassed in 2017. It’s still unclear whether the perennial MVP candidate will be able to return to those production levels down the stretch, however, provided he’s healthy enough to assume a regular role at all.