Heyman | Blue Jays and Kevin Pillar avoid arbitration

Heyman | Blue Jays and Kevin Pillar avoid arbitration

TORONTO — Third baseman Josh Donaldson and the Blue Jays agreed to a $23 million contract Friday, the largest one-year deal for an arbitration-eligible player.

The previous record deal for an arbitration-eligible player was Bryce Harper's $21.625 million for the 2018 season, which was finalized last May.

After three straight years as an All-Star and two with top-five finishes in All-Star voting Donaldson's production was slightly down in 2017, partially due to an early-season calf injury that kept him out for six weeks.

Donaldson got a $6 million raise after rebounding from an injury-slowed 2016 to hit.270 last season with a.385 on-base percentage and a.559 slugging percentage in 113 games.

Blue Jays pitchers and catchers report on Feb 14.to kick off Spring Traing, with position players arriving February 19 for physicals. "And I tend to agree with them", Donaldson said with a smile. "Great dude to be around, great leader".

Sanchez also avoided arbitration, signing a one-year deal worth $2.7 million.

Carrera earned $1,162,500 last season, when the 30-year-old Venezuelan played every outfield spot and batted.282 with eight homers and 20 RBIs in a career-high 131 games for the Blue Jays - 91 of those in left field. "I wasn't really in a lot of the talks, but definitely I'm happy".

Of nine arbitration-eligible players, Marcus Stroman and Roberto Osuna are the only two Blue Jays that the team did not reach contract agreements with before Friday's 1 p.m. deadline for salary figure exchanges. "If the numbers don't line up that's what the hearing is built in for".

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