Blue Jays, 3B Josh Donaldson reach record $23M arbitration deal

The Toronto Blue Jays and All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson reached agreement on a one-year deal worth $23 million for the 2018 season to avoid salary arbitration and break the record for the highest salary among players eligible for arbitration according to multiple reports.

The previous record for an arbitration-eligible player was Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper's $21.625 million deal for 2018, which was finalized last May.

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The 32-year-old Donaldson hit .270 with 33 home runs and 78 RBIs in 113 games last season. He missed 49 games mostly due to a calf injury.

Donaldson earned $17 million last year in the final season of a $28.65 million, two-year deal. The three-time All-Star and the 2015 AL MVP will be eligible for free agency after the 2018 season.

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Josh Donaldson through his career
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Josh Donaldson through his career
Sep 26, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) celebrates after a home run during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Oakland Athletics batter Josh Donaldson celebrates his two-run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays with Jake Fox (L) during the fourth inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto May 1, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Cassese (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Oakland Athletics batter Josh Donaldson swings at a pitch during his MLB American League baseball game against the visiting New York Yankees at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California May 27, 2012. REUTERS/Stephen Lam (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson celebrates at 2nd base with a 9th inning double against the Detroit Tigers during Game 4 of their MLB ALDS playoff baseball series in Oakland, California October 10, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Oakland Athletics Josh Donaldson cools down before the start of their MLB American League baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas September 13, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
May 28, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick (16) smashes pie in the face of third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) after he hit a game winning home run against the Detroit Tigers during the ninth inning at O.co Coliseum. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Detroit Tigers 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 25, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) drives in two runs with a double during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 30, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) reacts as he round third base on the three-run home run by designated hitter Brandon Moss (37) against the Kansas City Royals during the sixth inning of the 2014 American League Wild Card playoff baseball game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 8, 2015; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) throws out Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Andrew Lambo (not pictured) in the second inning during a spring training baseball game at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2015; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third basemen Josh Donaldson (20) touches home plate after hitting a home run in the fourth inning the spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 18, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Steve Tolleson (18) delivers a cream pie to the face of third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) after Donaldson hit a walk off home run gave the Jays a 6-5 win in 10 innings over Atlanta Braves at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
May 31, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) celebrates with teammates in the dugout after hitting a home run in the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Twins won 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 13, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; American League third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts at bat during the 2015 Home Run Derby the day before the MLB All Star Game at Great American Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
August 22, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) rounds third base to score a run in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
August 22, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) celebrates after he hits a three run home run in the third inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) reacts as he scores on a home run by catcher Russell Martin (not pictured) in the seventh inning against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 31, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Toronto Blue Jays infielder Josh Donaldson in attendance at the Hank Aaron Award press conference before game four of the World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 27, 2016; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) poses for a photo during photo day at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 11, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; American League player David Ortiz (34) of the Boston Red Sox bumps fists with American League infielder Josh Donaldson (20) of the Toronto Blue Jays during the All Star Game home run derby at PetCo Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images (TAGS: Sport Baseball MLB) *** Local Caption *** 2016-07-12T005514Z_1082866861_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_MLB-ALL-STAR-GAME-HOME-RUN-DERBY.JPG
Aug 26, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) gestures at home plate after hitting a two run home run against Minnesota Twins in the second inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images (TAGS: Sport Baseball MLB) *** Local Caption *** 2016-08-27T000755Z_1291138680_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_MLB-MINNESOTA-TWINS-AT-TORONTO-BLUE-JAYS.JPG
Oct 9, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson waves to the crowd after game three of the 2016 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Texas Rangers at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 9, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) signs the jersey of seven year old fan Ethan Wilson of Calgary during batting practice against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 26, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) doubles in the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
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In addition, the Blue Jays agreed to one-year deals with outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and left-hander Aaron Loup to avoid arbitration.

Carrera hit .282 with eight homers and 20 RBIs last season. He signed a $1.9 million deal for 2018.

Loup went 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 70 relief appearances in 2017. He signed for $1.8 million.

--Field Level Media

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