Blue Jays, Donaldson avoid arbitration with record deal

The Toronto Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson have agreed to a one-year deal for $23 million on Friday, setting a new record for arbitration-eligible players, according to multiple media reports.

The deal was originally reported by Sportsnet columnist Shi Davidi and later confirmed by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

The previous record was set in May when Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper agreed to a one-year deal worth $21.625 million for the 2018 season.

Donaldson’s contract also sets a new record for largest one-year offseason payout for an arbitration-eligible player, according to That mark had been set by David Price, who agreed to a $19.75 million deal with the Detroit Tigers in January 2015.

Donaldson, 32, hit for a .270 batting average last season to go along with 33 home runs and 78 RBIs while earning $17 million in the final year of a $28.65 million, two-year contract.

The third baseman is a three-time All-Star and won the American League MVP in 2015. He will be eligible for free agency following the 2018 season.