Yankees could return trade bust for final few weeks of 2023

josh donaldson, yankees

On July 15, New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson got hurt running to first base. It was, again, his troublesome calf and the injury was diagnosed as a “high-grade” strain that required a stint on the injured list. Such a move materialized on July 16.

At the time, it was believed that Donaldson would wind up missing the remainder of the 2023 season for the Yankees, with tiny odds of returning late in September. However, almost a month and a half later, it seems more and more likely that the 2015 AL MVP could be making a return to the active roster before the end of the campaign.

Donaldson has been taking swings against live pitching in late July-early August. He took at-bats on Saturday at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa, Florida. Yanks’ skipper Aaron Boone said the session was positive, as he faced fellow rehabber Luis Gil.

Donaldson is eligible to return to the Yankees in mid-September

Since he was placed on the 60-day injured list in mid-July, Donaldson isn’t eligible to return until mid-September. Still, it’s looking likely that the 37-year-old will be ready by that date, barring any setbacks.

The Yankees have embraced a youth movement by now, being so far down the standings. They called up Oswald Peraza and Everson Pereira, among other prospects, and taking playing time away from them to favor a free-agent-to-be veteran who is unlikely to return next year would probably be a mistake.

Donaldson didn’t have a good season with the Yankees to this point: in 33 games, he hit .142/.225/.434 with 10 home runs and 15 RBI. New York has a team option for him for the 2024 season, likely to be declined.

Will we see Donaldson back in pinstripes before the end of the regular season? Stay tuned, but it’s fair to say it would be a counterproductive move by the Yankees at this point.

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