Josh Donaldson had his most pressing business taken care of Friday morning when he and the Blue Jays avoided arbitration by agreeing to a record-setting $23 million contract for the 2018 season. A career.277 hitter, Donaldson has hit at least 29 home runs in each of the last four seasons.
The reported $23-million figure blows the old record for position players out of the water. The 2016 AL ERA leader was projected to earn $1.9 million in 2018 after a disappointing 2017 season and the lingering blister issues.
The 2015 American League MVP appeared in only 113 games last season, sidelined early in the season with a calf injury and hobbled at different points the rest of the way.
"Josh is huge component to our team and to our success - what he brings not only on the baseball field, but in the clubhouse", Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez told reporters before an event at a school in Burnaby, B.C., as part of the club's winter tour.
That gave the Blue Jays some cost certainty for two of Donaldson's arb years, but it also allowed Donaldson to cash in on that final arbitration year, which he's reportedly done in a big way.
"I let my people handle it".
Carrera, who hit.282 with eight home runs and 20 RBIs last season, signed for $1.9 million.
"The fact of the matter is, I really enjoy where I am at right now", Donaldson said on the Hot Stove program Friday.
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.
However, since acquiring Donaldson, the Blue Jays have come up a bit short in the championship regard. "Where that ends, we'll see".