Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson has been traded to the Indians, sources told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand and MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal on Friday night. The deal was first reported by Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan. Tonight at 11:59 ET is the deadline for clubs to acquire players who will be eligible to join postseason rosters.
Because he was traded, Donaldson will no longer be eligible to receive a qualifying offer this offseason. He will be an unrestricted free agent, meaning that the club that signs him will not need to forfeit a future Draft pick and the Indians won’t receive any picks as compensation if they lose him.
Donaldson, who won the 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Award, has been limited to 36 games this year because of injuries, most notably a left calf issue. The 32-year-old has hit .234/.333/.423 with five home runs and 16 RBIs.
For Donaldson to play every day with the Tribe, Jose Ramirez will likely need to displace Jason Kipnis at second base, although Indians manager Terry Francona said publicly that he doesn’t want to move Ramirez in the midst of what may be an MVP season.
A deal became more realistic Thursday, when Donaldson demonstrated his health by going 1-for-3 with a home run in a Minor League rehabilitation game for the Dunedin Blue Jays. Donaldson cleared waivers on Friday, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, making him eligible to be traded to any team. — MLB.com
The Milwaukee Brewers fortified themselves by acquiring veteran lefthander Xavier Cedeno from the Chicago White Sox for two minor leaguers.
The Brewers also seemed to be close to getting Gio Gonzalez from Washington to boost their rotation. Milwaukee was playing at Washington, so a trade would mean simply swapping dugouts.
“I think what happens in September is that the whole calculus of this thing changes,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said.
Clubs can start calling up reinforcements from the minors on Saturday. But it’s who they added before September that could really count in October.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, having seen closer Kenley Jansen wobble since coming off the disabled list, got Madson from the Nationals for a minor league pitcher.
Madson was 5-5 with five saves and a 4.08 ERA in 69 games for Washington. The 38-year-old recently came off the disabled list after being sidelined by nerve irritation that caused pain in his neck and back.
“Feels like a fresh start, especially to a year I’ve struggled a little bit,” Madson said as he was leaving Nationals Park. “Now none of that matters. All that matters is from this point forward and helping that team win games. That’s it.”
Madson helped Philadelphia win the World Series in 2008 and Kansas City do the same in 2015.
The Oakland A’s, who finished last in the AL West the past three years, tried to improve their playoff chances by getting righthanded reliever Cory Gearrin from Texas Rangers for a pair of minor league pitchers.
Gearrin was a combined 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA and one save in 56 appearances for the Rangers and San Francisco.
“I know he’s excited about being here. I talked to him for a while today, he said, ‘I’ll do whatever you ask me to do,’ ” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
In another deal, the Colorado Rockies got backup catcher Drew Butera from Kansas City for a minor league lefty.
Indians 3, Rays 0: Edwin Encarnacion hit a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning, Corey Kluber (17-7) allowed only two hits while striking out eight in seven shutout innings for host Cleveland.