When Alex Anthopoulos made the huge offseason move to acquire Josh Donaldson from Oakland, it was greeted with a mixture of excitement and bewilderment.
Excitement because the Jays had just picked up one of the best players in all of baseball, a player still in his prime who had a chance to get even better with a move into a friendlier hitters environment.
Bewilderment because the Jays didn’t really need a third baseman, and instead could have used that package to bring in a front-line starter.
Is anybody still questioning the move now?
Donaldson has been absolutely terrific for the Blue Jays in his first 49 games. Just look at how he is tearing up American League leaderboards:
Runs Scored: 41, 1st
Hits: 59, 4th
2B: 13, T-5th
HR: 13, 3rd
RBI: 35, T-4th
Average: .314, 12th
OBP: .374, 11th
OPS: .965, 5th
WAR: 2.9, 3rd
In a word, dominating.
But he took the word dominating to brand new level with his performance against the White Sox earlier this week, putting together one of the greatest three game stretches I have ever seen. The numbers are staggering:
7 for 11, 1 2B, 4 HR, 9 R, 7 RBI, 2 BB, .636 / .643 / 1.818 / 2.461
He homered in all three games, including two huge bombs in the 9th inning of White Sox closer David Robertson. The first was a 3-run walk-off, the second a game tying shot to force extras.
The guy is great with the bat, unbelievable with the glove, and fiery in the dugout, as evidenced by his shouting match with the Angels last week. He looks to be a perfect teammate.
Early in the season I caught myself checking Oakland box scores fairly regularly to see how well Lawrie was doing in his new home. As a fan, there is always the irresistible urge to compare players that were traded for each other. But now, there’s no point. I don’t care how Brett is doing in Oakland, and nor should any other Jays fan.
Instead we should be happy that one baseball’s best players is a Blue Jay.
Welcome to the Donaldson era.