Blue Jays, Donaldson avoid arbitration

Blue Jays Donaldson avoid arbitration with record deal

Tom Szczerbowski Getty Images Josh Donaldson

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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