Josh Donaldson agrees to $23M, 1-year deal with Blue Jays
FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2017, file photo, Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson hits a three-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Toronto. The hot corner figures to be smoking Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, when players and team swap proposed salaries in arbitration. Donaldson, Baltimore's Manny Machado, Washington's Anthony Rendon and the Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant were among the more than 170 players headed to the exchange. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
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