11:13am: The Indians have announced the move. Donaldson will begin a rehab stint with Triple-A Columbus on Monday.
10:35am: The Indians are planning to place just-acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson on the 10-day disabled list, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The move, which is retroactive to Sept. 1, will enable the injured Donaldson to go on a rehab assignment as he continues working his way back from a strained calf.
Cleveland landed Donaldson in a trade with Toronto last week, though the Tribe knew then that it was unclear when Donaldson would be able to make an impact at the major league level. Donaldson’s calf injury has kept him off a big league diamond since the end of May, and as Rosenthal notes, he has only played 11 minor league innings over the past three months. Nevertheless, the Indians were confident enough in Donaldson’s health to take a gamble on the former MVP at the waiver trade deadline.
The Indians are paying Donaldson just $1.3MM of his remaining $4MM salary. Aside from that money, adding Donaldson will only cost the Indians a player to be named later, albeit one “with some value,” as Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reported at the time of the deal. The hope for Cleveland is that it’ll catch lightning in a bottle with Donaldson, who was an elite player from 2013-17, as it heads toward the playoffs.
Assuming Donaldson does return to the majors this year, he’ll bump AL MVP candidate Jose Ramirez from third to second, thus sending second baseman Jason Kipnis to the outfield. In the process, Donaldson will try to rebuild some of his stock as he nears a trip to free agency in the offseason, when he won’t be saddled with a qualifying offer.