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Months Too Late, The Yankees Have Finally Released Josh Donaldson

Dustin Bradford. Getty Images.

Here we have a move that should have happened months ago. To react to this news with excitement is misguided. There was no reason Josh Donaldson should have been on the Yankees back when they were in contention in the first half of the year. He was one of their many black holes in the lineup who Hal/Cashman/Boone refused to remove. Because of the money left on his deal they decided there was no other choice than to see it play out. Now because of decisions like that they find themselves completely out of it before September even rolls around. 

Looking back at the initial trade is brutal. Donaldson and his $40M+ owed over '22 and '23 were taken on because Brian Cashman was hellbent on getting something in return for Gary Sanchez. Instead of just non-tendering the catcher, he turned to Minnesota to get back IKF, Ben Rortvedt, and Donaldson in exchange for Gary and Gio Urshela. It's a trade that has blown up in Cashman's face, just as many have in recent years. Rortvedt is not a professional hitter, IKF was brought in to play a position he wasn't comfortable at, and Donaldson has never regained his bat. The Yankees passed on premier SS options like Corey Seager and decided to address their glaring issue at the position with 10% effort. While Volpe is looking more and more like a guy who can be a key piece for years to come, they essentially punted a very important position when the FA class was flooded with options. 

Cashman had some fun quotes about Gio after that trade.

Gio Urshela is no Nolan Arenado, but his .290/.335/.413 triple slash plus his defense over the last two seasons would be have been revolutionary on this current team. Donaldson's numbers over the last two years? .207/.293/.385 including a .142 average this year. He's been horrific. Not to mention Gio was a way cheaper option that could have allowed them to invest in an actual left fielder. Cashman casted him off as he further attempted to be the smartest man in the room. In reality he's as lost as can be. 

What's crazy is I bet Cashman feels like this move is a crowd pleaser. While it would have been in May or June, this should do NOTHING for fans. All he's doing is clearing a 40 man roster spot so Austin Wells can get called up in a few days. Calling up Wells is a good thing, but again he should have been here already instead of being forced to watch Higgy and Rortvedt play baseball. There should only be three vets who play over the next month and they're Judge, Gleyber, and DJ. Everyone else can fuck off as we see what the kids can do. 

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