Could the Yankees trade $25 million struggling infielder to the Mets?

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

In an ideal world for the New York Yankees, the best outcome regarding infielder Josh Donaldson would be locating a trade partner willing to absorb the remainder of his substantial salary.

Miraculous Trade with the Mets: A Hypothetical Case

Admittedly, the likelihood of this situation occurring seems slim and would almost require a miracle. However, one report has suggested an intriguing possibility: a strategic salary dump to the New York Mets, but with a catch – pairing Donaldson with a valuable bullpen piece.

The Yankees’ Bullpen: Resilience Amidst Injuries

Despite several injuries depriving them of key players since the onset of the season, the Yankees maintain one of the top-rated bullpens in the league. A shining example among them is 28-year-old Ian Hamilton. Hamilton boasts an impressive 1.23 ERA this season over 22 innings, a remarkable achievement supported by his 12.27 K/9, 87.5% left-on-base rate, 57.1% ground ball rate, and 0.0% HR/FB ratio.

The Mets’ Potential Gain from a Hypothetical Trade

Given their requirement for bolstered bullpen support, the Mets could potentially take on the remainder of Donaldson’s contract. This would allow the Yankees the luxury of freed-up salary space and a roster spot to utilize more efficiently. While this remains a hypothetical scenario, conjured by Andy Martino of SNY, it does provide food for thought, especially if Mets’ billionaire owner Steve Cohen is open to taking on additional financial weight to elevate his team.

“The Yankees are not going to be sellers, of course, but they owe Donaldson what remains of his $21 million salary this year. Would they be willing to sacrifice a controllable power arm like Ian Hamilton in order to free up the Donaldson money for the trade deadline and remain under the luxury tax threshold? It’s an intriguing idea.”

Via Andy Martino of SNY

Weighing the Costs: Potential Sacrifices for the Yankees

While the Yankees are not in a selling mode, they still owe Donaldson the remaining portion of his $21 million salary for the year. This presents an interesting question: would they be open to sacrificing a controlled power arm like Ian Hamilton to free up the Donaldson funds for the trade deadline and stay beneath the luxury tax threshold?

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The Donaldson Dilemma: Poor Performance and High Cost

Donaldson, unfortunately, has had a less-than-stellar season, hitting a mere .127 with a .200 OBP, inclusive of six homers and eight RBIs across 20 games. With a 0.0 WAR and 62 wRC+, the veteran infielder has been more of a drain than a boon for the Yankees. As such, he’s essentially occupying a roster spot that could be better utilized by a more productive player, such as Oswald Peraza.

Potential Trade: A Tough Decision for General Manager Brian Cashman

Should a deal materialize that would allow the Yankees to transfer Donaldson, it would be a difficult proposal to reject, even if it necessitates the movement of one of their bullpen arms. The roster spot that Donaldson presently occupies holds significant value, as his daily starting role has become a major impediment to other, more productive players.

The Mets’ Luxury Tax Situation: No Cause for Concern

With the Mets having already surpassed the third luxury tax threshold, additional tax implications are not a concern. Consequently, taking on Donaldson’s contract would merely add another entry to their already extensive list of expensive commitments.