Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson avoid arbitration, sign 1-year, $23-million deal

Reports: Josh Donaldson Sets MLB Salary Arbitration Record at $23 Million

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. "Josh broke the record with his performance and quite frankly blew it out of the water", Atkins said on a conference call. "It was just a matter of how much and if we could align in value and we're very pleased that we did".

Donaldson was coming off a two-year, $28.65 million deal. "Everything in any relationship and any negotiation, when you do agree on something is certainly a positive".

Donaldson finished the 2017 season with 33 home runs, giving him 164 in the past five seasons, during which he was an American League All-Star three times and won two Silver Slugger Awards as the AL's best-hitting third baseman.

"I let my people handle it".

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Stroman, who won a career-high 13 games in 2017 while boasting a 3.09 ERA, required an arbitration hearing a year ago before securing a $3.4 million salary.

Donaldson is one of nine arbitration-eligible Blue Jays, with the club announcing deals for Ezequiel Carrera ($1.9 million) and Aaron Loup ($1,812,500) on Friday morning ahead of the 1 p.m. ET deadline for exchanging proposed salaries. He is entering his fourth year as the team's full-time center fielder, having first taken over the job back in 2015 when he hit a career-high.278 with 25 stolen bases.

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. He will be eligible for free agency after the 2018 season.

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

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