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Josh Donaldson on the Move – Jays and A's Blockbuster Deal

According to reports, the Toronto Blue Jays have traded third baseman Brett Lawrie, right handed pitchers Kendal Graveman and Sean Nolin and shortstop Franklin Barreto to the Oakland A’s for third baseman Josh Donaldson.

Both Billy Beane and Alex Anthopoulos said they would make some moves to improve their team this off-season, and tonight they can argue they both did just that.

The Jays get arguably the best third baseman in baseball (3rd overall in WAR, at 7.7, and someone who’s been worth 15.4 WAR the past two years )  and finished in the top ten in MVP voting in each of the past two years. Donaldson has hit for power since entering MLB with the A’s, hitting 24 and 29 HR’s the past two years, and has driven in over 90 each year. Moving from Oakland County Coliseum to Rogers Centre should do wonders for those home run numbers.  Not only does he have power, he also features a beautiful glove at 3B and can get on-base at a very good rate. While it seems like a lot of potentially good prospects for Donaldson, I believe this is a win for the Jays, who are in a win-now mindset. Also even though Donaldson is four years older than Lawrie, he’s actually under team control for a year longer than Lawrie.

Oakland on the other hand gets a very talented yet often injured third baseman (or second baseman if needed) in Brett Lawrie, who has had both his fair share of good and bad moments in Toronto. He lit the league when he first came up in 2011 but has struggled most of his MLB career thanks to injuries. He’s very strong defensively however, and is still 24, so he could turn heads.

Oakland also acquired prospects Sean Nolin, Kendal Graveman and Franklin Barreto in the deal. Nolin could become a back-of-the-rotation starter, features good command and could be in the majors in 2015. Graveman started the year in A-ball but shot up the minors and ended the year with a short stint with the Jays.

Arguably the best prospect in the deal, Barreto is only 18 and has shown already the ability to hit well and with power.

With many trades involving prospects it’s hard to gauge who won, but I fully believe the Jays won this deal. I’m not quite sure what Beane is thinking here, but I fully believe he isn’t finished, and just loaded his cupboards with prospects to move in potential deals.


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