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Toronto Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson reach $23M deal


Third baseman Josh Donaldson and the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday broke the record for the highest salary among players eligible for arbitration, reaching agreement on a one-year deal for $23 million, a source told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, confirming multiple reports.

The previous record for an arbitration-eligible player was set by Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper in May, when he agreed to a one-year deal for $21.625 million.

Donaldson, 32, is a three-time All-Star and the 2015 American League MVP. He rebounded from an injury-slowed 2016 to hit .270 last season with 33 homers and 78 RBIs. He missed 49 games last season, largely because of a calf injury.

Donaldson, who will be eligible for free agency after the 2018 season, earned $17 million last year in the final season of a $28.65 million, two-year deal.

Since his debut, Donaldson ranks second in WAR among all position players, trailing only Mike Trout (43.8 to 36.2).

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.

Sanchez, who was limited to eight starts in 2017 after four stints on the disabled list because of a nagging blister on his middle finger, signed for $2.7 million. He went 1-3 with a 4.25 ERA, after an All-Star season in 2016 in which he was 15-2 with an AL-best 3.00 ERA.

Carrera, who hit .282 with eight home runs and 20 RBIs last season, signed for $1.9 million. Loup, who went 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 70 games, signed for $1.8 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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