Oakland's perrenial organizational phenom, Josh Donaldson, has had his 2014 salary incrementally increased to a modest $500,000 sum following a $492,500 compensation throughout the entirety to the previous 2013 campaign. For Donaldson, who has until the 2015 season to access his arbitration eligibility, this is the first instance he has exceeded $500K as he acquired an additional $480,000 during the 2012 stint, but shall assuredly receive a monumental seven figure extension should he dominate similarly as he did during the previous attempt, now starting as one of the undisputed best players throughout baseball and statistically the most valuable non-outfielder in the sport. Behind Trout and McCutchen, Donaldson was slotted as the 3rd most pivotal asset for the 2013 season with a 7.7 fWAR while receiving a 8.0 bWAR, ranking him fifth behind the aforementioned individuals alongside Kershaw and Gomez. To coincide with that, Donaldson amassed a 1.7 dWAR, ranking him as a top 15 defensive specialist within the American League while Fangraphs demonstrates that he accumlulated 11 DRS, a 9.9 UZR and a cumulative 12.7 defensive rating, placing him 25th overall within major league baseball.
The former asset lassoed into the clutches of the Athletics through the Rich Harden swap, Donaldson struggled to acclimate to Oakland between the 2010 and the initial portion of the 2012 campaign following an additional difficulty within the Pacific Coast League with Sacramento following his devestation of the Texas League. He spent the entirety of the 2011 calendar year housed within California's capital and approached the impending season anticipating his first legitimately extensive A's opportunity. While he would gain entry onto the Athletics roster, it was through an unlikely route as Donaldson was forcibly made to convert to a primary third baseman following Scott Sizemore's ACL tragedy after a tenure within the organization as a backstop exclusively. The Auburn alumni had previous experience as a infield chip as he participated at the position during his collegiate stay, but had seldom attempted since he was plucked from the eligible draftees in 2007. However, it would be proven that Sizemore's hindrance may have been the best thing to have happened to the A's organization in years, as Donaldson wound up amassing one of the most elite ~800 plate appearance stretches in the franchise's 112 season history.
Donaldson obliterated PCL repertoires as evidenced by his cumulative .335/.402/.598 slash through the completion of his Rivercats career, as his 234 plate appearance rampage was enough to convince Oakland of Donaldson's legitimacy. It would require a Brandon Inge shoulder dislocation in Chicago though, another unfortunate casualty, to place Donaldson in an Athletics uniform permanently after a lackluster audition in the initial portion of the campaign, producing a distasteful -0.4 fWAR. Upon his debut in Kansas City however, Donaldaon would seamlessly assimilate into the A's lineup with a 194 PA sample size to conclude his 2012 with a corresponding 1.9 fWAR accumulated in that span that included a .344/.408/.625 August to propel him to the forefront of the Oakland agenda for the remainder of the immprobable AL West Championship crusade. Entering 2013, Donaldson was presumed the starting third baseman once more, and easily reestablished himself as the Athletics catalyst as the Pensacola native and honorary Albama resident would log 668 PAs with a .301/.384/.499 slash, .199 ISO, 11.4% BB%, and 148 wRC+ to amass his previously mentioned 7.7 fWAR, the 20th most valuable single season in Athletics franchise history, tying him with 2000 Jason Giambi. For perspectitive, the last Athletic to have a cumulative fWAR north of 7.7 was Rickey Henderson in 1990, making Donaldson a definitive and undoubtedly historical footnote in the illustrious exsistance of the A's organization. In short, Donaldson is far more deserving of his recently bestowed $7,500 monetary increase for his exploits and ought to wrangle in an ungodly amount for his arbitration avoidance, even with Oakland's notorious budget restraints.