Blue Jays ink record deal for Donaldson

Blue Jays Donaldson avoid arbitration

Blue Jays Donaldson avoid arbitration

He missed 49 games mostly due to a calf injury.

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.

However, the 2015 American League MVP rebounded and slashed.276/.386/.606 with 24 home runs and 53 RBI after the All-Star break to finish the year with 33 dingers and 78 RBI. The 2016 AL ERA leader was projected to earn $1.9 million in 2018 after a disappointing 2017 season and the lingering blister issues.

Donaldson's 2018 deal is a record amount for one season for an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing the $21.65 million the Washington Nationals gave Bryce Harper in May to avoid arbitration with the All-Star outfielder.

The 31-year-old leadoff slugger almost doubled his salary from last season when he made $7.3 million. He will be eligible for free agency following the 2018 season. He hit.270 with a.385 on-base percentage and 33 homers. He averaged a career-low 6.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 2017.

A career.277 hitter, Donaldson has hit at least 29 home runs in each of the last four seasons.

Reliever Tommy Kahnle also avoided arbitration with a one-year, $1.3 million deal.

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. He hit.270 last season with 33 homers and 78 RBIs in 113 games past year.

McCann, 27, was eligible for arbitration for the first time.

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