The Toronto Blue Jays turned down a trade last winter that would have sent Josh Donaldson to the St. Louis Cardinals for a package that would have included rookie sensation Jack Flaherty, according to a new report from Bob Nightengale of U.S. Today.
According to Nightengale, citing a source with the Blue Jays, the trade offer included two players, one of them being Flaherty, a 22-year-old right-handed starting pitcher.
But as history now knows, the Blue Jays instead settled on acquiring a player to be named later (likely right-handed pitching prospect Julian Merryweather) for Donaldson in a trade with the Cleveland Indians on Aug. 31.
Injuries limited Donaldson to just 36 games with the Blue Jays this season, his last one coming on May 28. Still, the former MVP wasn’t himself even when healthy, only hitting .234/.333/.423 with five home runs in that span.
Flaherty, in his first full season in the majors, has been the best starter in the Cardinals rotation. He has a 8-6 record in 24 starts, and leads the team in ERA (2.92) strikeouts (160) and opponents batting average (.193).
If he was on the Blue Jays, he’d still lead his team in all of those categories too.