Third baseman Josh Donaldson and the Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a $23-million contract, the largest one-year deal for an arbitration-eligible player. The 2016 AL ERA leader was projected to earn $1.9 million in 2018 after a disappointing 2017 season and the lingering blister issues.
For an arbitration-eligible player, Donaldson's $23 million sets a Major League Baseball record.
Donaldson is one year away from free agency, and the high salary will help set his market next winter. Donaldson put the injury behind him in the last two months of the season, when he hit.302 with 22 home runs, an on-base average of.410 and a slugging percentage of.688. The team and player bypassed having an arbitrator determine Donaldson's 2018 salary by resolving his contract status for the coming season.
Josh Donaldson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates after hitting a home run against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning at Fenway Park on September 26, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. "And I tend to agree with them".More news: Heyman | Kris Bryant breaks first-year arbitration record
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According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Blue Jays settled the case with Aaron Sanchez for $2.7 million and avoided arbitration.
When asked about his uncertain status Friday morning in an interview on MLB Network before news broke about his new contract, Donaldson stated his desire to remain with the Blue Jays before casually saying he is fine no matter what Toronto's front office decides about his future.
"The fact of the matter is, I really enjoy where I am at right now", Donaldson said on the Hot Stove program Friday.
Marcus Stroman, Roberto Osuna, Aaron Sanchez, Kevin Pillar, Devon Travis and Dominic Leone are the club's other eligible players.