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 superstar third baseman surpassed Bryce Harper's previous mark of $21.625 million and earned himself a $6 million raise over the $17 million he received in 2017.
Atkins wouldn't get into details about the potential of a long-term contract with the 32-year-old Donaldson but did say that Friday's deal could help in future negotiations.
In 113 games a year ago, Donaldson hit.270 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI and a.403 wOBA.
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The Jays, however, have said repeatedly that they are not in a complete rebuild mode and want to compete for a playoff spot in 2018 and wouldn't be able to do that without Donaldson, the 2015 American League MVP, in the lineup. "There's always a lot that goes into a negotiation so I would say it definitely doesn't hurt".
It was a busy day for the Blue Jays, who signed five players to one-year deals to avoid arbitration. He is eligible for free agency after this season. "Great dude to be around, great leader". A career.277 hitter, Donaldson has hit at least 29 home runs in each of the last four seasons.
Marcus Stroman, Roberto Osuna, Aaron Sanchez, Kevin Pillar, Devon Travis and Dominic Leone are the club's other eligible players. "Where that ends, we'll see".