Toronto set a new Major League Baseball record by signing third baseman Josh Donaldson to the most expensive single-season contract for an arbitration-eligible player. The $23 million figure is a record for an arbitration-eligible player.
The Blue Jays spent a good portion of the winter listening to trade offers for Donaldson as they face the decision of whether to send him away while getting value in return or possibly losing him with no compensation as a free agent. He should, however, remain a top of trade talks as the season progresses.
Donaldson got a $6 million raise after rebounding from an injury-slowed 2016 to hit.270 last season with a.385 on-base percentage and a.559 slugging percentage in 113 games. "Josh broke the record with his performance and quite frankly blew it out of the water", Atkins said on a conference call.
The 32-year-old three-time all-star, who was eligible for arbitration, becomes the highest paid player on the Jays. "There's always a lot that goes into a negotiation so I would say it definitely doesn't hurt".
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. "Great dude to be around, great leader". "The fact of the matter is, I really enjoy where I'm at right now and I enjoy being a Toronto Blue Jay and enjoy what we've been able to build in this organization and I'm very happy". A career.277 hitter, Donaldson has hit at least 29 home runs in each of the last four seasons.
Toronto's other arbitration eligible players are right-handers Dominic Leone, Roberto Osuna, Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman, outfielder Kevin Pillar and second baseman Devon Travis.
- With files from Joshua Clipperton in Burnaby, B.C.