Blue Jays sign star Josh Donaldson to one-year, $23-million deal

Sep 11 2017 Toronto Ontario CAN Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar hits a single against Baltimore Orioles in the first inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado is another high-profile player in his final year of arbitration.

Blue Jays 3B Josh Donaldson: 1 year, $23 million (a new record for arbitration-eligible players). Not signing the 32-year-old to a long-term extension will allow him to walk in free agency this winter.

Donaldson was coming off a $28.65 million, two-year deal.

The Jays now have three regulars earning $20 million or more in 2018 with Donaldson joining Troy Tulowitzki ($20m) and Russel Martin ($20m).

Toronto also agreed Friday 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.

Donaldson has a.285 batting average with 111 home runs and 300 RBIs over three seasons in Toronto. As a file-and-trial team, the only way to avoid a hearing once the sides trade numbers is a multi-year agreement.

A calf injury limited Donaldson to 113 games during the 2017 season, his fewest since bursting onto the baseball scene as one of the game's top hitters in 2013. The 27-year-old hit.253 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs last season and made $552,100.

Two key parts of the Jays' pitching staff that were eligible for arbitration, closer Roberto Osuna and starter Marcus Stroman, remain unsigned.

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