Josh Donaldson agrees to $23M, 1-year deal with Blue Jays
TORONTO (AP) Third baseman Josh Donaldson and the Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a $23 million contract Friday, the largest one-year deal for an arbitration-eligible player.
The 32-year-old, a three-time All-Star, topped the $21,625,000, one-year deal covering 2018 agreed to last May by outfielder Bryce Harper and Washington.
Donaldson, the 2015 AL MVP, got a $6 million raise after rebounding from an injury-slowed 2016 to hit .270 last season with 33 homers and 78 RBIs in 113 games. The sure-handed infielder missed time from April 14 through May 25 with a calf injury, which also hampered him during spring training.
Donaldson was coming off a $28.65 million, two-year deal. He is eligible for free agency after this season.
Toronto also agreed to one-year deals with outfielder Ezequiel Carrera for $1.9 million, left-hander Aaron Loup for $1,812,500, outfielder Kevin Pillar for $3.25 million, right-hander Aaron Sanchez for $2.7 million, second baseman Devon Travis for $1.45 million and right-hander Dominic Leone for $1,085,000.
Carrera earned $1,162,500 last season, when the 30-year-old Venezuelan played every outfield spot and batted .282 with eight homers and 20 RBIs in a career-high 131 games for the Blue Jays - 91 of those in left field.
Pillar batted .256 with 16 homers and 42 RBIs in 154 games. He can earn a $50,000 bonus for 450 plate appearances.
Loup, who made $1,125,000 in 2017, went 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 70 appearances and 57 2/3 innings. Sanchez went 1-3 with a 4.25 ERA in eight starts, while Leone was 3-0 with a 2.56 ERA in a career-high 65 appearances and his most innings at 70 1/3.
Toronto's remaining arbitration eligible players are right-handers Marcus Stroman and Roberto Osuna. Stroman is seeking $6.9 million and Toronto countered at $6.5 million, and Osuna asked for $5.8 million while the Blue Jays offered $5.3 million.
Stroman is coming off a career-best year in which he went 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA in 31 starts while reaching 200 innings for the second straight season (201). He made $3.4 million last season.
Osuna was 3-4 with a 3.38 ERA with a career-best 39 saves in 66 appearances and 64 innings.
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Updated January 13, 2018