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If healthy, Josh Donaldson could be just what Indians need

There's no way to know if or when Josh Donaldson will be able to take the field for Cleveland, but he'd help lengthen the Indians lineup. Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

Let's start this by taking a trip to an parallel universe, one where Josh Donaldson was fit as a fiddle in spring training and remained so throughout the 2018 big league season. Here's what a dispatch from that universe might look like this evening:

CLEVELAND (AU) -- The Cleveland Indians supercharged their quest to end the franchise's 70-year World Series drought by acquiring perennial All-Star Josh Donaldson and cash from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for fringe prospects you've never heard of but the Blue Jays are very excited about.

Donaldson, 32, who won the American League MVP award just three years ago, hit .266/.369/.517 with 29 home runs and 80 RBIs for Toronto, which has entered into a rebuilding phase and has hotshot prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the pipeline as the heir apparent at third base.

Donaldson, who will be a free agent after this season, is arguably the most productive power bat to change teams during the 2018 season.

OK, back to reality. Donaldson's actual numbers this season are .234/.333/.423 with five homers and 16 RBIs. His season, which should have been a platform campaign in advance of a massive free-agent payoff, has been upended by a sore shoulder and a calf injury that has been painfully slow to heal, no pun intended. He hasn't played in a big league game since May 28, and didn't play at all until a two-game stint with Class A Dunedin, Florida, earlier this week. There's no way to know if or when Donaldson will be able to take the field for Cleveland, and we certainly don't know which version of Donaldson the Indians will see when he gets to the big club.