josh donaldson brian cashman yankees
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The Yankees avoided their first 10-game losing streak in more than 100 years on Wednesday night. However, it’s not like things are just back to normal in the Bronx. New York is still 61-65 and all but eliminated from the postseason with tough questions that need answers. Thankfully, Josh Donaldson’s contract will expire at season’s end, so general manager Brian Cashman doesn’t have to keep justifying a roster spot for the third baseman.

Coming out of the MLB lockout ahead of the 2022 season, the Yankees made a significant trade with the Minnesota Twins. They sent Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela to Minnesota in exchange for Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Ben Rortvedt.

While New York should’ve waved the white flag on the IKF experiment before the 2023 season, he’s at least contributed in some way as a utility player. None of this trade really worked out for New York, but the biggest bust of all has definitely been Donaldson.

He’s currently on the 60-day injured list with a calf tear. But even when healthy, the offensive production has been non-existent. In 165 total games played, Donaldson is hitting .207/.293/.385. That’s accompanied by 25 home runs, 77 RBI, and 180 strikeouts in 666 plate appearances.

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Typically, teams make moves with the best of intentions. But did Cashman and Co. know acquiring Donaldson was a terrible idea before doing it anyway? MLB insider Jeff Passan said exactly that during an appearance on Michael Kay’s ESPN radio show earlier this week (h/t

The Donaldson trade was terrible. That was bad from the jump. I think the Donaldson trade was bad from the start because the Yankees knew just how poorly he was getting along with people in Minnesota. There was some toxicity going on there. I don’t think you can look at the Donaldson trade in any positive way.

Well, that’s certainly interesting. Cashman spoke to the media on Wednesday before the Yankees snapped their nine-game losing streak. Among the things he talked about, the longtime executive said the following:

Between this trade, as well as acquiring players like Joey Gallo and Frankie Montas in recent years, it’s been quite a few significant duds for Cashman and the Yankees. So, yeah — a top-to-bottom evaluation is definitely needed. Especially if trades are being done despite knowing the probability of things going south is very high.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.