Blue Jays, 3B Donaldson reach record $23M arbitration deal

Josh Donaldson becomes the highest paid player on the Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays and star third baseman Josh Donaldson have agreed to an arbitration-record contract of $23 million for the 2018 season, Shi Davidi reports.

After recording 95 saves in his first three Major League Baseball seasons, Osuna reportedly filed for $5.8 million in his first year of arbitration, while the Jays sent an offer of $5.3 million.

Every contract can and should be evaluated on it's own, but there are two very telling situations in the batch of situations. He signed a $1.9 million deal for 2018.

Toronto will likely now try to work out an extension with Donaldson even though he's on the wrong side of 30.

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Should their cases proceed, an independent arbiter will hear from the team as well as Stroman and Osuna, before deciding on one of the two proposed salary figures by the start of Spring Training. There's a big picture argument for dealing with arbitration from the front office's perspective, but Stroman's situation over the last couple of years has been interesting to say the least.

As a file-and-trial team - what's that term, you ask? He made $3.4 million last season. While it's not ideal, it's understandable why the Blue Jays would offer Stroman less than what he and his agent are seeking. "And I tend to agree with them", Donaldson said with a smile.

The Jays are still able to negotiate a long term contract with Donaldson after avoiding arbitration.

With so many variables at play and so many decisions to make, the job that sits before Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro is most definitely a hard one. David Price's $19.75 million with the Detroit Tigers in his final year before free agency stood as the all-time record for pitchers or hitters. After earning $3.4 million last season and finishing as a top-five AL starter, Stroman reportedly filed for $6.9 million, while the Blue Jays offered $6.5 million.

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