Blue Jays avoid arbitration with OF Carrera and LHP Loup

Reports: Josh Donaldson Sets MLB Salary Arbitration Record at $23 Million

Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays agree to $23 million contract for 2018 MLB season

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.

Atkins wouldn't get into details about the potential of a long-term contract with the 32-year-old Donaldson but did say that Friday's deal could help in future negotiations.

Since being traded to the Jays from Oakland prior to the 2015 season, Donaldson's put up an OPS+ of 150 and notched an AL MVP Award. "Everything in any relationship and any negotiation, when you do agree on something is certainly a positive". "Great dude to be around, great leader".

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

"I let my people handle it".

Reports: Josh Donaldson Sets MLB Salary Arbitration Record at $23 Million

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.

Loup, who made $1,125,000 in 2017, went 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 70 appearances and 57 2/3 innings. He is entering his fourth year as the team's full-time center fielder, having first taken over the job back in 2015 when he hit a career-high.278 with 25 stolen bases. "If the numbers don't line up that's what the hearing is built in for".

Two key parts of the Jays' pitching staff that were eligible for arbitration, closer Roberto Osuna and starter Marcus Stroman, remain unsigned.

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

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