The New York Yankees made a significant move by waiving veteran third baseman, Josh Donaldson. While many fans were optimistic about the freed-up roster spot potentially going to a budding prospect, Donaldson’s tenure with the Yankees was marred by injury and inconsistency.
Donaldson battled a lingering calf injury, limiting his appearances to just 34 games for the Bombers. His stats during that period: a .142 batting average, .225 OBP, and a .434 slugging rate. While he did manage to hit 10 homers and notch up 15 RBIs, the 26.7% strikeout rate and 75 wRC+ were far from impressive.
For the hefty $50 million price tag spread over two seasons, the performance was underwhelming. The Yankees eventually released him, and Donaldson found a temporary home with the Milwaukee Brewers. However, his playoff stint was short-lived as the Brewers succumbed to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Wild Card round.
Donaldson’s time with the Brewers saw a mild improvement in his stats, but at 37, his best years in the sport seem to be behind him.
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Yankees’ Financial Ramifications and Future Steps
Although the Yankees stand to make significant savings this offseason, they still owe Donaldson a $6 million buyout. As Donaldson heads to the free-agent market, the Yankees have their work cut out in finding a fitting replacement at third base.
Their in-house option is Oswald Peraza, the 23-year-old versatile infielder. This season, he averaged .191 at the plate, with a .267 OBP, and managed two homers along with 14 RBIs. Although he showed some sparks toward the season’s end, he still has some developing to do offensively.
Defensively, Peraza clocked 300 innings at third base, showcasing a decent .964 fielding percentage. With more exposure and experience, he has the potential to become a top-tier defender at the hot corner.
Exploring the Market
If the Yankees are willing to open their purse strings a bit wider, they could scout the free-agent market. One name that stands out is Jeimir Candelario. A reliable switch-hitter, he has been particularly effective with runners in scoring positions. As slugger Aaron Judge hinted at the need for more balance in the lineup, Candelario might just be the perfect addition.