The Yankees released third baseman Josh Donaldson from the roster before Tuesday’s game against the Tigers, ending a rough New York tenure for the three-time All-Star and 2015 AL MVP.
The 37-year-old had played in only 33 of New York’s 131 games this year, batting .142/.225/.434 with 10 home runs and 15 RBIs. His last game for the Yankees came on July 15 when he went 0-for-4 against the Rockies before being placed on the 15-day injured list (later moved to the 60-day IL) with a right calf strain. He had previously missed 52 games from April to June with a right hamstring strain.
That said, Donaldson went through a live batting practice on Aug. 26, with Yankees manager Aaron Boone saying that the session “went well” and there was “definitely a possibility” that Donaldson could be activated in September. He wasn’t eligible to be activated from the injured list until Sept. 15.
Donaldson came over to the Yankees last March in a trade that sent Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela to Minnesota in exchange for Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Ben Rortvedt. Two years prior to the trade, Donaldson signed a four-year, $92 million contract that was set to expire after this season.
The 37-year-old’s best seasons came during his four-year run in Toronto that included a stellar 2015 season, when he hit .297 (.939 OPS) with 41 home runs and 123 RBIs en route to his MVP win. He remained a productive player for several more seasons, posting above-average offensive numbers each year through 2021, but his production declined following the trade to New York. In 666 plate appearances with the Yankees, he hit .207/.293/.385 with 25 homers and 77 RBIs.