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Yankees release third baseman Josh Donaldson

A bust of a trade finally reaches its conclusion.

New York Yankees v Colorado Rockies Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

We’ll miss those bat flips on 280-foot flyouts.

Ahead of tonight’s game with the Tigers, the Yankees officially released veteran third baseman Josh Donaldson from the roster, closing a chapter of one of the worst trades in recent team history. Donaldson had logged a 94 wRC+ in a fitting 666 plate appearances with the Yankees, and while his defense was excellent, his tenure here could, at best, be described as “tumultuous.” His suspension for his altercation with Tim Anderson last year, multiple injuries including seeing more than two months on the IL with a calf problem this season, and a visible loss of bat speed made him an anchor on the roster.

Even though at the time the Yankees acquired Donaldson, his Statcast page was full of red, the deal that sent Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela to the Twins was at best a lateral move and now one that sure looks like a disaster. Isiah Kiner-Falefa, the ultimate example of a great bench player who shouldn’t be a full-time starter, is the only guy the Yankees have gotten any real value out of after that deal.

I have a hard time imagining any of the serious contenders would be that interested in picking up Donaldson, even at the prorated league minimum. His brand has become pretty toxic over the past few seasons, bouncing between different organizations and the Twins seemingly all too happy to deal him away two years into a four-year contract.

The best move forward for Donaldson’s career may be to focus on getting in the best possible shape over the offseason and trying to catch on somewhere in 2024.

As for the Yankees, they save about a quarter of a million dollars if Donaldson does sign somewhere else, and if he doesn’t, they’re left in the same position they’re in now. Both Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera can pick it at third, so they might as well let them get MLB reps rather than be shoehorned into Donaldson being activated off the IL.

So long, Josh — I don’t imagine many fans are upset by this news.