Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson receives record $23 million to avoid arbitration

The Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson avoided arbitration Friday at a record $23 million, Sportsnet first reported.

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. He rebounded from an injury-slowed 2016 to hit.270 last season with 33 homers and 78 RBIs.

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. "Everything in any relationship and any negotiation, when you do agree on something is certainly a positive". "Great dude to be around, great leader".

"I let my people handle it". "The fact of the matter is, I really enjoy where I'm at right now and I enjoy being a Toronto Blue Jay and enjoy what we've been able to build in this organization and I'm very happy".

Joining Pillar was third baseman Josh Donaldson, second baseman Devon Travis, and right-handed pitchers Dominic Leone and Aaron Sanchez.

Stroman, who won a career-high 13 games in 2017 while boasting a 3.09 ERA, required an arbitration hearing previous year before securing a $3.4 million salary. "The industry has seen that more and more teams are willing to go and agencies are more willing to go".

Donaldson was eligible for salary arbitration after being paid $17 million last year in the final season of a two-year, $28.65 million contract.

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

Vanessa Coleman