Josh Donaldson and the Toronto Blue Jays avoid salary arbitration with a record deal.
Donaldson set a new record for arbitration-eligible players with a one-year, $23 million deal, breaking Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper’s mark of $21,625,000 million.
The third baseman is the Blue Jays’ highest-paid player, passing catcher Russell Martin and short stop Troy Tulowitzki who each earn $20 million.
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Donaldson is a three-time All-Star who saw his production drop off in 2017, partially due to a early season calf injury the sidelined him for six weeks. He had a slash line of .243/.364/.442 with 11 home runs until Aug. 1, then went on a run. In the final two months of the season, he had a .302/.410/.698 slash line with 22 homers to finish with a .270 average and 33 homers and 78 RBI in 113 games.
He was named the 2015 American League MVP and becomes a free agent after the season.
The Blue Jays also agreed Friday to one-year deals with outfielder Ezequiel Carrera ($1.9 million) and left-hander Aaron Loup ($1,812,500).
Gallery: Top 2017-18 free agents