June 25, 2024

The New York Yankees played a minor role in the distinguished career of Josh Donaldson, who initially rose through the ranks with the Oakland Athletics before achieving prominence with the Toronto Blue Jays. His career zenith occurred in 2015 when he clinched the American League MVP title, smashing 41 home runs and boasting a 154 wRC+. Donaldson recently disclosed his retirement during an episode of Sean Casey’s ‘The Mayor’s Office’ podcast, where he reminisced about his entire journey in baseball, including his time in New York. Now, he looks forward to transitioning to a lifestyle that allows him to spend more time with his family.

Although Josh Donaldson’s decision to retire wasn’t unexpected, given his less impactful performance last season with the Yankees and Brewers, it wasn’t officially confirmed until today.

Just before the 2022 season commenced, the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins orchestrated a trade that sent shockwaves throughout the baseball community. In this unexpected deal, Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa were acquired by the Bronx Bombers to bolster their left side of the infield. Donaldson, a three-time All-Star, was fresh off a successful stint with the Twins, having smashed 26 home runs with a .352 OBP. The Yankees aimed to inject vigor into their lineup, which had stagnated in the previous season. Despite the team’s offensive improvements, Donaldson encountered a significant regression, drawing criticism from fans and media alike.

Donaldson’s tenure in New York proved to be disastrous, overshadowing what had been an illustrious career. Across 13 seasons in the Major Leagues, he amassed an impressive 46.8 bWAR and launched 279 home runs over 1,383 games, establishing himself as one of the premier third basemen of the 21st century. He earned adoration in Toronto and Oakland, where he served as a formidable presence in the middle of the batting order for playoff-bound teams. Notably, during a five-year stretch, he ranked second in baseball for fWAR (33.6) and boasted a 148 wRC+.

However, Donaldson’s time in New York was fraught with challenges, including off-field controversies such as a controversial comment directed at Tim Anderson, perpetuating a recurring theme throughout his career. While whispers of his abrasive demeanor on the field persisted, the adversity he faced during his upbringing instilled in him a competitive edge, for better or worse. Although Donaldson’s legacy in baseball may be tarnished by his stint with the Yankees, time may ultimately mend those wounds.

Rumors of Donaldson contemplating retirement surfaced as early as Spring Training the previous year, as he pondered his future beyond 2023. Father Time seemingly caught up with him, as it does with every athlete, and unfortunately, it coincided with his arrival in New York. The Yankees are still responsible for a portion of his buyout, albeit a relatively small amount compared to their payroll. Donaldson has officially bid farewell to professional baseball, revealing that he recently tied the knot. Now, he looks forward to embracing full-time roles as a father and husband without the demands of an MLB season.

Yankees’ controversial third baseman announces retirement after 13-year career

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