The Indians Josh Donaldson from the Blue Jays. The trade was notable not just because of Donaldson's star status. It was also notable because the 32-year-old pending free agent hasn't played in the majors since May 28 because of a left calf injury.
Donaldson was on a minor-league rehab assignment at the time of the deal, which means he eligible to dealt during the revocable-waiver period. That the Indians acquired him before the end of August means he's eligible to be on their postseason roster. For a couple of reasons, though, the move may not be as clear-cut as it appears:
- Donaldson was presumably healthy enough to be traded, but soon after acquiring him the Indians put him back on the disabled list, which in turns suggests he wasn't healthy enough to be traded.
- Donaldson not long before he was traded said he wasn't healthy enough to play in that day's rehab-assignment game, which would mean he needed to be pulled back off waivers. However, that game was postponed, and Donaldson was able to play the next day.
As Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports, for those reasons the Red Sox, Yankees, and Astros -- all playoff-bound AL teams that may face Cleveland in the postseason -- reached out to the commissioner's office to object to the trade or at least ask for clarification as to why it was allowed to go through. Rosenthal writes:
The Red Sox and Yankees voiced displeasure to Major League Baseball about the events that occurred before and after the trade of Donaldson from the Blue Jays to the Indians on Aug. 31, according to major league sources.
The Astros also asked the commissioner's office for clarification on why baseball allowed the deal, and were satisfied with the response, sources said. Others in baseball also believe the commissioner's office handled the matter appropriately, but some told The Athletic they were upset by the turn of events.
Whatever the case, Donaldson is. Perhaps we'll see these complaints revisited if Donaldson helps power the Tribe to the pennant.