The Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly avoided arbitration with star third baseman Josh Donaldson, agreeing Friday to a record-breaking $23-million salary for the 2018 campaign, according to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi, the highest-ever one-year payout for an arbitration-eligible player.
Donaldson, who will now be the Blue Jays' highest-paid player in 2018, eclipses Bryce Harper's previous record one-year salary for an arb-eligible player ($21.65 million) by $1.35 million, and will earn nearly 35.3 percent more than last season ($17 million).
Had Donaldson not reached an agreement with the Blue Jays, a file-and-trial team, by Friday's 1 p.m. ET deadline to exchange salary figures, the two would've gone to an arbitration hearing and had an independent panel determine his salary for the upcoming season.
Now in his third and final year of arbitration-eligibility, Donaldson, 32, is coming off another terrific campaign in which he managed a .944 OPS (144 OPS+) with 33 homers and 5.0 WAR - second among American League third basemen - despite appearing in just 113 games due to an early-season calf injury.