Josh Donaldson has been a well-above average offensive player for the better part of his career.
He owns a .265/.361/.492 career line with a 134 wRC+, meaning he has been 34 percent better than the average batter.
He is also about to turn 37, however, and just had a mostly underwhelming season at the plate for the New York Yankees: he hit .222/.308/.374 with a 97 wRC+ in 546 plate appearances.
He is no longer an above-average producer, and although he remains a solid fielder, the Yankees should be looking to get rid of his contract and try a new alternative at third base.
The organization, however, seems to be going the opposite direction.
“Aaron Boone on Josh Donaldson being the starting 3B next season, via @TMKSESPN: ‘As we sit here right now, absolutely. He’s been an offensive machine for the best part of his career. I think it was one of those years where he was searching for that consistency,'” Chris Kirschner of The Athletic tweeted.
Aaron Boone on Josh Donaldson being the starting 3B next season, via @TMKSESPN:
"As we sit here right now, absolutely. He's been an offensive machine for the best part of his career. I think it was one of those years where he was searching for that consistency."
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) November 3, 2022
He Never Found Any Consistency
If he was searching for “that consistency”, he certainly didn’t find it and used 132 games to look for it.
It became evident he just doesn’t have it anymore at this stage of his career.
He could very well return to form in 2023, since he was good in 2021 (126 wRC+), but it’s extremely unlikely at this point.
Since he is owed more than $20 million next year, the Yankees will have a hard time moving him.
Perhaps Boone is just defending his player, as it would be illogical for him to criticize a potential trade chip by saying he is a bench player.
But truth be told, Donaldson’s upside at this point is very limited.