Blue Jays, Donaldson avoid arbitration

Blue Jays, Donaldson avoid arbitration with record $23M deal

Blue Jays, Donaldson avoid arbitration with record deal

According to SportsNet's Shi Davidi, the Toronto Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson have agreed to a one-year, $23 million deal to avoid going to arbitration.

The previous record deal for an arbitration-eligible player was Bryce Harper's $21.625m for the 2018 season, which was finalised last May.

The 32-year-old Donaldson is coming off a 2017 campaign in which he batted.270/.385/.559 (144 OPS+). Toronto seems intent on keeping Donaldson heading into the season, but he'll be a hot trade candidate in July if they fall out of contention.

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Donaldson finished the 2017 season with 33 home runs, giving him 164 in the past five seasons, during which he was an American League All-Star three times and won two Silver Slugger Awards as the AL's best-hitting third baseman. "I wasn't really in a lot of the talks, but definitely I'm happy".

In addition, the Blue Jays also avoided arbitration with starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and left-hander Aaron Loup, signing the pair to one-year deals Friday.

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Of nine arbitration-eligible players, Marcus Stroman and Roberto Osuna are the only two Blue Jays that the team did not reach contract agreements with before Friday's 1 p.m. deadline for salary figure exchanges.

While the Blue Jays have been relatively quiet this off-season, aside from acquiring infielder Yangervis Solarte in a trade with San Diego last week, Atkins said the team is still in a good position to add where it needs to. He is eligible for free agency after this season.

- With files from Joshua Clipperton in Burnaby, B.C.

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