Deal buys some time for Jays, Don­ald­son

National Post (Latest Edition) - - SPORTS - Steve Buf­fery sbuffery@ post­media. com

The Toronto Blue Jays brought enough cash to sat­isfy The Bringer of Rain. At least for the 2018 sea­son.

The Jays and third base­man Josh Don­ald­son have avoided ar­bi­tra­tion, set­tling at $23 mil­lion US for the 2018 sea­son, first re­ported by Shi Da­vidi of Sport­snet.

The Don­ald­son deal is a record, the pre­vi­ous record for an ar­bi­tra­tion-el­i­gi­ble player was Bryce Harper’s $ 21.625 mil­lion for the 2018 sea­son.

As first re­ported by Bob Night­en­gale of USA To­day, the Jays also signed sec­ond base­man Devon Travis to one year, $ 1.45 mil­lion deal and right- handed pitcher Aaron Sanchez, $2.7 mil­lion deal for 2018. Both Travis (right knee surgery) and Sanchez ( blis­ters on right mid­dle fin­ger) spent a con­sid­er­able amount of time on the DL last sea­son. Night­en­gale re­ported on Thurs­day that out­fielder Eze­quiel Car­rera signed a $ 1.9 mil­lion deal for 2018 with the Jays, also avoid­ing ar­bi­tra­tion.

That will sat­isfy John Gib­bons as the Jays man­ager loves hav­ing Car­rera as his fourth out­fielder. Left-handed re­liever LHP Aaron Loup also signed a 1,812,500 deal.

Four Jays re­main un­signed and ar­bi­tra­tion el­i­gi­ble — RHP Do­minic Leone, RHP Roberto Osuna, OF Kevin Pil­lar and RHP Mar­cus Stro­man. Dead­line to file ar­bi­tra­tion num­bers was 1 p.m. Fri­day but deals can be agreed to be­fore an ar­bi­tra­tion hear­ing is held later this win­ter.

Don­ald­son, a three- time ma­jor league all- star, be­comes el­i­gi­ble for free agency af­ter this sea­son. There is spec­u­la­tion that if the Jays don’t sign him to a long-term deal, he may be traded this up­com­ing sea­son if the club does not get off to a good start and falls out of the play­off pic­ture. 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.

In 113 games in 2017, Don­ald­son hit .270 with 33 home runs and a . 944 OPS. The 32- year- old ap­peared on the MLB Net­work on Fri­day and said it’s “a com­pli­ment” that his name has been men­tioned fre­quently dur­ing the off- sea­son as some­one who might be traded.

“I think it’s a com­pli­ment that there are other teams that feel that their team would be bet­ter with me in it. And I tend to agree with them,” Don­ald­son said with a smile. “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.”

Josh Don­ald­son


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