Ex-Yankees trade bust already rubbing players the wrong way in Milwaukee

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees, josh donaldson
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees probably breathed a sigh of relief when they bid adieu to veteran third baseman, Josh Donaldson, along with the $50 million commitment spanning two years. While General Manager Brian Cashman remains obligated to remit a $6 million sum to Donaldson due to a mutual buyout option activated upon his acquisition from the Minnesota Twins, the amount appears justifiable. The Yankees, after all, are charting a divergent course.

The Yankees are Better off Without Josh Donaldson

During his tenure with the Yankees, Donaldson managed to ruffle some feathers. A standout incident involved a contentious exchange with Chicago White Sox infielder Tim Anderson, which ignited a racial debate. Now 37, Donaldson has had a storied career, gracing multiple clubs with his presence. His latest stop? The Milwaukee Brewers post a 34-game spell with the Yankees.

Donaldson’s performance was less than stellar in his Yankees stint: boasting a .142 batting average, a .225 OBP, complemented by 10 home runs and 15 RBIs. However, with the Brewers, over 12 games, he’s showcased a significant improvement: a .205 batting average, a .300 OBP, a .477 slugging rate, three home runs, 10 RBIs, and a commendable 107 wRC+. Clearly, Donaldson’s prowess seems more attuned to the Brewers, starkly contrasting his Yankees phase.

Clubhouse Etiquette: A Brewing Concern?

Yet, despite the statistical uptick, Donaldson’s behavior seems to be a recurrent theme. Rowdy Tellez, Brewers’ first baseman, shared a candid anecdote on the “Foul Territory” podcast, illustrating Donaldson’s somewhat audacious entrance to the Brewers’ domain.

”He walked in the clubhouse and walked straight by, and I was like, ‘Hey, when you walk into the clubhouse you introduce yourself to your new teammates,’” Tellez said. “And he goes, ‘Everybody knows who I am.’”

While Donaldson isn’t wrong in asserting his well-known stature, the age-old adage of ‘courtesy costs nothing’ seems amiss in his book. Past accounts and narratives have often critiqued his personality, leading many to ponder about his overall positive influence in the team dynamic.

The Yankees might not have experienced the zenith of Donaldson’s capabilities, but the Brewers are pinning their hopes on him to spearhead a triumphant playoff crusade come October. Tellez, reminiscing further, quipped, “And then I was like, ‘Hey, when you see a former teammate, you say, ‘What’s up,’” Tellez continued. “And he was like ‘Hey, are you on the seafood diet?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, good one. See food, eat food, beat you to it.”