Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson receives record $23 million to avoid arbitration

Lynette Rowe
January 13, 2018

The Toronto Blue Jays and Josh Donaldson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $23 million deal, according to sources.

• Third baseman Kris Bryant agreed to a $10.85 million, one-year deal with the Cubs, a record for a player eligible for arbitration for the first time. He rebounded from an injury-slowed 2016 to hit.270 last season with 33 homers and 78 RBIs.

Donaldson, 32, has been the subject of numerous trade rumours this offseason, with the St Louis Cardinals seemingly the most aggressive in bidding for his services. The $23 million figure is a record for an arbitration-eligible player.

Donaldson earned $17 million last year in the final season of a $28.65 million, two-year deal. He missed time from April 14 through May 25 with a calf injury.

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Pillar is coming off a 2017 season which saw him bat.256/.300/.404 with a career-high 16 home runs and 37 doubles, while adding 16 stolen bases and 42 RBIs. "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. Since being traded to the Jays from Oakland prior to the 2015 season, Donaldson's put up an OPS+ of 150 and notched an AL MVP Award.

Stroman, who won a career-high 13 games in 2017 while boasting a 3.09 ERA, required an arbitration hearing previous year before securing a $3.4 million salary.

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

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