Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson avoid arbitration with record deal

Blue Jays Donaldson avoid arbitration with record deal

Tom Szczerbowski Getty Images Josh Donaldson

TORONTO (AP) - 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.

In 113 games a year ago, Donaldson hit.270 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI and a.403 wOBA.

The 32-year-old three-time all-star, who was eligible for arbitration, becomes the highest paid player on the Jays.

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That was part of a $28.65-million, two-year deal agreed to in February 2016 that avoided arbitration after Donaldson and the Blue Jays were only $450,000 apart upon exchanging figures. He is eligible for free agency after this season.

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.

With the pressure off, Donaldson's $23 million salary could serve as a potential jumping off point for talks on a longer-term deal in the spring, or simply set him up to test the market in the fall.

Donaldson has a.285 batting average with 111 home runs and 300 RBIs over three seasons in Toronto.

"I think it's a compliment that there are other teams that feel that their team would be better with me in it". "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".

President Mark Shapiro and GM Ross Atkins have come out and said that they are not looking to move Donaldson as they want to be competitive despite the New York Yankees loading up in the offseason.

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