Josh Donaldson held out of rehab start due to sore calves and legs

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Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson recently began a rehab assignment with High-A Dunedin as he attempts to make his way back from a calf injury. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that Donaldson was held out of Wednesday’s lineup due to soreness in his calves and legs. The game was later postponed due to inclement weather just ahead of game time.

That’s bad news for the Jays for multiple reasons. The first, obviously, is that it will make it a little while longer before Donaldson returns. The second is that it hurts Donaldson’s trade value, as the Jays placed him on revocable trade waivers on Wednesday. Donaldson, a free agent after the season, is owed the remainder of his $23 million salary, which the Jays would love to rid themselves of.

In 36 games this season, all occurring between the start of the season and late May, the 32-year-old Donaldson hit .234/.333/.423 with five home runs and 16 RBI. While Donaldson can still be traded in September, he would not be eligible for his new team’s postseason roster, which is why the Jays were hoping to trade him before the end of August.

Phillies select active duty Navy aviator in MLB Rule 5 draft

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SAN DIEGO — The Philadelphia Phillies took U.S. Navy aviator Noah Song in the Rule 5 draft Wednesday, hoping the former top pitching prospect can still be effective once he completes his military service.

There is no definitive date on when the 25-year-old Song might be able to join the Phillies.

Song was picked from the Boston Red Sox system in the draft for unprotected minor league players. Philadelphia put him on the military list while he continues his active duty and he won’t count on the 40-man roster, the pool from which major league teams can select players for the 26-man active roster.

Song impressed in his only pro season, making seven starts for Boston’s Class A Lowell affiliate in 2019, with a 1.06 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 17 innings. With a fastball clocked in the upper 90s mph, the right-hander dominated that year as a senior at the U.S. Naval Academy, going 11-1 with a 1.44 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 94 innings.

The Red Sox drafted Song in the fourth round – he likely would’ve gone much higher, but his impending military service caused teams to back off.

In November 2019, Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed a memo clearing the way for athletes at the nation’s military academies to delay their service commitments and play pro sports after graduation. Song’s request to have those new rules retroactively applied to his case was denied.

Song began school as a flight officer in the summer of 2020 and finished that phase last April. He started additional aviation training in May.

Song was among the 15 players, including three Boston pitchers, taken in the big league phase of the Rule 5 draft, which wasn’t held last year because of the MLB lockout.

Washington took righty Thad Ward from Boston’s Triple-A roster with the first pick. Baltimore took Red Sox minor league pitcher Andrew Politi with the ninth choice and the Phillies chose Song with the 11th selection.

Teams pay $100,000 to take players in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. The players must stay on the big league roster next season or go on waivers and, if unclaimed, be offered back to their original organization for $50,000.