Ex-Yankees trade bust has big game for the Brewers in Wild Card

josh donaldson, yankees
Jun 2, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson (28) celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees had high hopes when they secured Josh Donaldson from the Minnesota Twins, absorbing $50 million of his two-year contract. They envisioned strong offensive prowess and a dependable presence at third base. But Donaldson’s performance fell short of expectations.

After a lackluster stint with the Yankees, where he played just 34 games and recorded a batting average of .142, he was released. This move led him to the Milwaukee Brewers, a playoff-bound team.

With the Brewers, Donaldson showed slight improvement. Over 17 games, he hit .169 and recorded a wRC+ of 85. Still, in the heat of the playoffs against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the 37-year-old infielder managed to shine, recording two hits and a run.

Behind the Donaldson Decision

The Yankees’ decision to part ways with Donaldson was twofold. Firstly, they wanted to pave the way for emerging prospects. Secondly, they aimed to give Donaldson a shot at the postseason. The investment in Donaldson was a gamble, banking on a resurgence from the veteran player. But age, coupled with constant scrutiny, seems to have impacted his potential. Though he hasn’t been stellar with Milwaukee during regular play, his postseason endeavors indicate a spark of his former self.

Looking Ahead: The Yankees’ Third Base Dilemma

In Donaldson’s absence, 23-year-old Oswald Peraza has been filling the void at third base for the Yankees. Over 52 games this past season, he hit .191. Defensively, he clocked 300 innings at the hot corner, posting a .964 fielding percentage and one defensive run saved.

As the Yankees strategize for the future, the focus is on locking down third base. They can either bank on Peraza evolving into the role or scout for a suitable free agent. A promising name in the mix is Jeimir Candelario, a switch-hitting infielder who recently had a respectable season split between the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs. With a batting average of .251 and a wRC+ of 117, he’s proven to be a consistent player on both offense and defense.

Ultimately, with the Donaldson experiment proving costly, the Yankees are on the clock to make a strategic decision regarding their next third baseman.

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