Josh Donaldson open to Blue Jays reunion for final season, but don't count on it

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A Toronto Blue Jays great is open to a reunion.

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Josh Donaldson, one of only two Blue Jays to win an MVP award while with the team, is nowhere close to that player these days, with his 38th birthday looming in a few weeks, and is currently looking for a team for the 2024 season.

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Donaldson batted under .200 for both the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers last season as calf injuries continued to be an issue, but did hit 13 home runs in 165 at-bats and helped the Brewers make the playoffs.

Donaldson told theScore he’s “definitely up for playing one more year, but I think after this upcoming season, that would be my last season no matter what. I would like to play one more year and go out on a good note and then that’d be it.”

When asked by theScore if a return to Toronto would be possible to close out his career, Donaldson said: “Yeah, definitely looking forward to seeing if they reach out. That would definitely be something that I would be interested in doing,” Donaldson said.

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Along with being the only Blue Jays MVP, along with George Bell, Donaldson ranks second amongst all Blue Jays in slugging percentage, on-base plus slugging, Adjusted OPS+ and at-bats per home run and fifth in on-base percentage.

“That’s just where I’ve always felt like it was home for me. My fiancée, she’s from Toronto. Our kids are half-Canadian. Her family is all up there, which would be great for them to be able to be around all year long. For me, that would be the tip of the iceberg, which would be great and we’ll see what happens.”

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Before you get your Bringer of Rain jerseys out of storage though, keep in mind that Donaldson was sharply critical of the then-newish front office of Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins and the way the training staff handled his injury at the time.

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“I can’t control that, man,” Donaldson told Postmedia’s Rob Longley in Dunedin in 2018 when asked about reports he’d been placed on waivers. “I can’t control what the team wants to do with me.

“There’s a lot I can say about that, but I choose not to say anything about it right now,” Donaldson told Longley at the time, when asked about the perceived rift between him and management. “I don’t feel now is the time or the place. It’s one of those things that, as an athlete, I can only control what I can control. To do that I have to stay positive and focused on what I have to do.”

Donaldson also expressed displeasure back then at the team’s fall from grace after years of contention.

“It stinks,” Donaldson said. “From a couple of years ago to being a playoff contender and having the best lineup in Major League Baseball to where we’re at today, it’s frustrating. I don’t make decisions.

“It’s not about the team. I’m frustrated more because I haven’t been able to be out there and be a part of it. I want to be able to be out there and help those guys.”

A few days later, Donaldson was traded.

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