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Yankees release Josh Donaldson from roster

The Yankees made the decision to release third baseman Josh Donaldson from their roster ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Tigers, marking the end of a challenging tenure for the three-time All-Star and 2015 American League Most Valuable Player.

Throughout the current season, the 37-year-old participated in only 34 out of New York’s 131 games, struggling with a .142/.225/.434 slash line, accompanied by 10 home runs and 15 RBIs. His most recent appearance for the Yankees was on July 15, during which he went 0-for-4 against the Rockies before being placed on the 15-day injured list due to a right calf strain. Later, he was shifted to the 60-day IL. Donaldson also missed a substantial portion of games from April to June because of a right hamstring strain.

Notably, Donaldson recently engaged in live batting practice at his home, receiving positive feedback from Yankees manager Aaron Boone. Boone mentioned the possibility of Donaldson’s return in September after he became eligible to be reinstated from the injured list on September 15. However, the Yankees’ intent to explore the potential of younger talents like Oswald Peraza and Everson Pereira meant that Donaldson’s playing time would have been limited.

Donaldson, set to become a free agent at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, has the opportunity to join another team by Friday and consequently be eligible for that team’s postseason roster.

Boone noted that the decision to release Donaldson was based on providing him with the chance to find a new team. He stated, “Basically, it just kind of felt like it was the right thing to do.”

The Yankees acquired Donaldson on March 13, 2022, in a trade involving Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela heading to Minnesota in exchange for Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Ben Rortvedt. Two years before the trade, Donaldson signed a four-year, $92 million contract that was set to conclude after this season.

Although Donaldson experienced his peak seasons during his four-year stint in Toronto, which included a standout 2015 campaign with an MVP nod, his performance declined following the trade to New York. He exhibited impressive power with the Yankees, hitting 10 home runs among his 15 hits this season, yet his overall production was not at the desired level.

Boone acknowledged Donaldson’s dedication to the game and his passion for it, expressing respect for the veteran’s contributions despite the challenges he faced with the team.

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