TORONTO [PeterPaul.ca] — The Toronto Blue Jays confirmed Friday that they had acquired Josh Donaldson from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for third baseman Brett Lawrie, an emotional move for both teams with both players posting emotional goodbyes to their old fans while reaching out to the new ones.
Donaldson, the 28-year-old third baseman elected to the 2014 AL All-Star team, seemed ecstatic after being traded to Toronto, calling the Blue Jays uniform “sexy” according to an update posted by Toronto Star sports reporter Brendan Kennedy.
Donaldson voiced his excitement at the teams projected line-up during a Saturday conference call with reporters, saying “I definitely think the elements are there to win … I feel like this team is going to be so talented,” while referring to the Jays.
He himself finished last season with an impressive 29 HRs and 98 RBI with the Oakland Athletics and is a career .265 with 43 HRs and 157 RBI in 345 games.
“I really think it’ll be non-issue” Donaldson said when asked about the Rogers Centre’s astroturf, a challenging surface at the best of times to play on. He learned to play with different shoes when batting and fielding during games in Toronto against the Blue Jays.
Beginning in 2018, the Rogers Centre will convert to an all-grass field, Blue Jays President Paul Beeston said in 2013. Lawrie, meanwhile, took a parting shot at the astroturf situation in Toronto during an interview with MLB Network Radio on Saturday, saying “I feel like getting off the astroturf is going to do wonders for my body.” “I’m excited to play on grass and dirt everyday,” he added.
Lawrie earlier thanked his “brothers and sisters” who supported him during an “unforgettable” experience while in Toronto, assuring fans that “we will meet again at some point.” He said he was excited for his new role to compete everyday for the Oakland A’s–who are also receiving infielder Franklin Bareto, LHP Sean Nolin and RHP Kendall Graveman from the Blue Jays.
After finishing 83-79 last season, the Jays have added catcher Russell Martin, 2B Devon Travis and pitcher Marco Estrada in the off season, generating additional support behind the club and increasing ticket sales.