Blue Jays avoid arbitration with Carrera and Loup

Blue Jays Donaldson avoid arbitration with record deal

The Toronto Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson have avoided arbitration, settling at $23 million for the 2018 season, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. The 2016 AL ERA leader was projected to earn $1.9 million in 2018 after a disappointing 2017 season and the lingering blister issues.

As you would expect, many players avoided arbitration before the deadline by agreeing to contracts for the upcoming season.

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.

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. Besides missing six weeks of the season due to a calf injury in the spring, the 32-year-old almost put together another MVP-type campaign in the second half, ranking fifth in baseball with a 160 wRC+ after the All-Star break.

Donaldson's 2018 deal is a record amount for one season for an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing the $21.65 million the Washington Nationals gave Bryce Harper in May to avoid arbitration with the All-Star outfielder. Donaldson hit.270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and 78 RBI as the Jays slumped and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2015. He began the year hot, hitting four home runs in April, his high for any single month of the year.

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.

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.

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