Josh Donaldson is nearing the end of his MLB career and he's open to finishing his playing days with the team he enjoyed his greatest individual success with: the Toronto Blue Jays.
Donaldson is currently a free agent and the Blue Jays have a hole at third base in the wake of Matt Chapman rejecting his qualifying offer. Donaldson says he'd be willing to return to Toronto if general manager Ross Atkins gives him a call this winter.
"Yeah, definitely looking forward to seeing if they reach out," Donaldson said in an interview with theScore's Josh Wegman. "That would definitely be something that I would be interested in doing. 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."
Donaldson was one of the most dominant hitters in baseball during his three full seasons with the Blue Jays. He won American League MVP in 2015 with a .297/.371/.568 slash line and was almost equally terrific the following season (.284/.404/.549). He was traded to Cleveland during an injury-riddled 2018 campaign.
Donaldson will be 38 when the 2024 MLB campaign gets underway, so his fit on a Blue Jays team firmly in its competitive window could be awkward. He could offer Toronto a power bat off the bench, but any type of expanded role is unlikely.
Regardless of whether or not Donaldson returns to the Blue Jays, he still has fond memories of his time in Toronto but rues not being able to win it all with the level of talent those teams possessed.
"Now that time has passed since the '15 and '16 teams I think some of the best compliments that I get from former opponents was 'dude, we had nowhere to go in that lineup. It was hell either trying to call a game against you guys or pitch against you guys. There was just no avenue where we could wiggle around,"' Donaldson told Wegman. "I just remember feeling that way being on the Blue Jays, they had nowhere to go. When you know that, and they know that, obviously our team was special.
"Not saying that we took anything for granted because we didn't, we went and laid it on the line. But man, if we could've caught this break, or made this happen, it definitely sticks in your craw a little bit. We definitely felt we had the team to win it, we just weren't able to accomplish that."
If Donaldson is able to land with a team for 2024, he says it will be his last crack at capturing an elusive World Series title.
"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."