Cleveland Indians’ Josh Donaldson exits the batting cage during batting practice before a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

Leaving Blue Jays is ‘difficult to the extreme,’ Donaldson says

The 2015 AL MVP was traded to the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later

Josh Donaldson admits it’s tough to say goodbye to the Toronto Blue Jays.

“It’s … been difficult to the extreme that I am leaving an organization that I was very much a big part of,” the new Cleveland Indians third baseman said Sunday in an introductory press conference after a trade on Friday.

“I had some quality years there that I’m not going to forget. But I’m also looking forward to trying to help this team win and moving forward as well.”

The Blue Jays dealt the 2015 AL MVP to the Indians for a player to be named later, continuing a rebuild process that has seen the team cut ties with some of its biggest stars from the 2015-16 playoff squads.

Donaldson has been out of the Blue Jays lineup since late May, dealing with a nagging calf injury. He played in a rehab game with single-A Dunedin on Tuesday, allowing the Blue Jays to place Donaldson on waivers and trade him prior to Friday’s deadline for players to become eligible to join a post-season roster.

“If I was writing a book, it’s not how I would have wanted it to go, but hopefully it has a happy ending,” said Donaldson, who becomes a free agent at the end of the season.

READ MORE: Blue Jays GM feels Donaldson trade was ‘best decision’ for team’s future

Donaldson did not provide a timeline for his return, but seemed to indicate he won’t be out too much longer.

“I feel very good about where I’m at right now,” said Donaldson, who took batting practice and ran the bases and did agility drills Sunday. “I’d rather not talk about it. I’d rather you see it and judge for yourself.”

Indians president Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona met with Donaldson after his workout. It’s still unclear what Donaldson will need to do before he’s ready to take over at third base. He could continue to work with the team or play on a minor league rehab assignment.

“That’s what we’re still working on,” Donaldson said. “Whenever that schedule is finalized between all parties, I’m sure it’s going to be addressed, how we’re going to move forward.”

In Cleveland, Donaldson reunites with former Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion. The two were seen talking in the dugout after Donaldson arrived Saturday night.

“We had a lot of fond memories together as teammates … I’m sure if you asked him as well, we’re excited about creating some new ones,” Donaldson said.

While the ending in Toronto was anything but perfect, Donaldson said he’s happy to be in Cleveland.

“I was excited because of the players you have in this clubhouse and how they’ve been able to have success throughout the years,” he said. “I’m also excited (because) if you probably go look back at my numbers in this ballpark, they’re pretty nice. I’m glad I’m going into a situation where I’ve had success before.”

The 32-year-old Donaldson batted .234 with five home runs and 16 RBIs this season for the Blue Jays. He hasn’t played since May 28 because of the calf injury. He also was out from April 11-May 2 with a shoulder problem.

The Indians begin a four-game series in Toronto on Thursday.

— with files from the Associated Press

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Food Bank boss Feezah Jaffer on Cheerios box

It’s part of a General Mills campaign honouring food bank heroes

Appeal court overturns Surrey sexual assault acquittal, orders new trial

Appeal court judge says Surrey court failed to consider evidence of ‘passive dishonesty’

Surrey’s Alan Clegg sits down for a socially-distanced chat about his life in Cloverdale over the years

Clegg chats about his time as a volunteer firefighter, 1962’s Typhoon Freda, and how he’s been holding up during COVID-19

City of White Rock advises businesses to flush out water before re-opening

Buildings could have stagnant water in pipes after months of limited use

Powerlifter gives back to Surrey healthcare workers during COVID-19 pandemic

Sumeet Sharma aims to visit all Lower Mainland hospitals, including Peace Arch, to deliver food

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

Most Read

l -->