According to a report from Shi Davidi of SportsNet, the Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a two-year deal worth $29 million with the third baseman and reigning AL MVP, thus avoiding arbitration a week before their scheduled meeting.
As FOX Sports MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal reported last month, the two sides actually were not all that far apart in their demands — just $450,000 separating Donaldson’s request of $11.8 million and the Blue Jays’ offer of $11.35 million. As Rosenthal reported, the notion of the two sides going through the arbitration process over such a relatively minimal amount is baffling, to the say the least.
However, the annual $14.5 million salary in the reported new deal is quite a jump in money for the Blue Jays compared to their arbitration figure.
Many, of course, would say that Donaldson is worthy of quite a jump in money considering his huge 2015 MVP season. The 30-year-old slashed .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers, leading the AL in RBI (123) and the whole league in runs with 122.
The Blue Jays acquired Donaldson last offseason in a deal with the Oakland A’s for Brett Lawrie and three minor leaguers. He earned $4.3 million in 2015 in his first year of arbitration and is under team control through the 2018 season.