Josh Donaldson
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Josh Donaldson traded to Indians


Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson has been acquired by the Indians, the clubs confirmed Friday. While Donaldson cleared revocable trade waivers earlier in the week, it was not immediately clear where he was headed as the Cardinals, Phillies, Braves, and Yankees were also thought to be in the mix for his services. The Blue Jays will take on a player to be named later in exchange for the veteran infielder, and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic adds that the team is expected to pony up another $2.7 million of Donaldson’s salary as well.

It’s been touch-and-go with the three-time All-Star this year, especially in light of his lengthy recovery from a calf injury sustained in late May. When healthy, Donaldson slashed a robust .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and 5.1 fWAR for the club in 2017 and was even nominated for NL MVP, but he’s effectively remained on the shelf for the bulk of 2018 after starting the year with a .234/.333/.423 batting line through his first 159 plate appearances.

Now that Donaldson has officially started in on a rehab stint, however, a return to the field during the last month of the season doesn’t seem entirely out of the question. Assuming he proves both healthy and effective at the plate, as he has been in years past, the 32-year-old slugger figures to make a significant impact in a lineup that already boasts Jose Ramirez, Michael Brantley, and Edwin Encarnacion at its core. His acquisition should also give the Indians greater flexibility out on the field, where current third baseman Ramirez might be able to shift back to second base and second baseman Jason Kipnis could be reassigned to the outfield.

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.


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