Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays Agree to Record-Setting Contract to Avoid Arbitration

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In a roundabout way, the 26-year-old's wish will be granted when he's communicating directly with the Toronto Blues Jays front office in an arbitrator's hearing room in Phoenix next month after not being able to come to terms on a contract prior to Friday's deadline to exchange arbitration numbers.

Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson rounds first base on his solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Sept. 26, 2017.

The record-setting $23 million is a $6 million dollar raise from last season and a significant jump from what many industry experts had prognosticated for Donaldson. He should, however, remain a top of trade talks as the season progresses. He missed time from April 14 through May 25 with a calf injury.

The previous record was set in May when Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper agreed to a one-year deal worth $21.625 million for the 2018 season. Over the past three years with the Blue Jays, he is a.285/.387/.559 hitter with 111 home runs and 300 RBI.

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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.

"I let my people handle it".

Marcus Stroman, Roberto Osuna, Aaron Sanchez, Kevin Pillar, Devon Travis and Dominic Leone are the club's other eligible players. 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.

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

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