BOSTON — Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson has not decided whether he will play in 2024 or if he will call it a career after this season.
Donaldson said, “I don’t know.” the athlete The Sunday before the Yankees lost both ends of a doubleheader to the Red Sox at Fenway Park. “It kind of depends on how I feel through this year and this season and all that and talking to my family. But it’s really — I’ve been asked that not just by you, but by other people.”
Donaldson, 37, is in the final season of his $92 million, four-year contract. It’s the Florida Nationals’ 13th big league season, a career that included MLS Player of the Year honors in 2015, three All-Star appearances and stops in Oakland, Toronto, Cleveland, Atlanta and Minnesota.
He said he did not think much of his future in baseball.
He said, “It would be, ‘What’s better?'” “If I feel like I want to play it cool, and I feel like this is my family situation, that’s what I want to do. …but I didn’t think about it any more.
Monday Donaldson will hit . 151 with six homers, eight RBI and . 724 OPS in 17 games. He missed about two months early in the season with a strained right hamstring.
While he is still clearly a top-class defender, his recent output hasn’t quite matched the reputation he’s built which has earned him the nickname ‘Bringer of Rain’. Donaldson hit .222 with 15 homers, 62 RBI, and a 0.682 OPS in 132 games last season—a first for the Bronx.
On Sunday morning, he said he’s been feeling “really good” at the plate these last days.
“I hit a lot of balls hard,” he said. “Unfortunately, some of them haven’t fallen at the moment. … I feel really good about where I am, and I haven’t really gotten to the point where I’m playing every day.”
Donaldson’s average exit speed as of Sunday was 92.2 mph — better than the 90.7 mph average exit speed he set last season. He said he feels better physically this season than he did last year.
“The fact that I’m making contact really hard (and) hitting the ball really hard in the air and whenever I can do that, I feel like I can get good results,” he said.
Manager Aaron Boone said he was encouraged by Donaldson’s batters.
“He hits the ball really hard, which is good,” Boone said. “I think if you look up and hit the ground running, even though his (batting) average isn’t good yet, he hits a lot of balls hard. (If) he keeps doing that, we’ll be in a good place here when we look seven months from now. “It was good to see him hit the ball as hard as he is. Hopefully he’ll start to get more results with it. I feel he’s moving great down the field but I hope he can continue to build on what I feel is good with the bat.”
(Photo: Sarah Steer/Getty Images)
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