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Josh Donaldson gets record-setting deal from Blue Jays

This was Donaldson's final year of arbitration eligibility, with the 32-year-old set to become a free agent after this season

Josh Donaldson

Josh Donaldson | AP

Josh Donaldson has netted a record deal for an arbitration-eligible player. The superstar third baseman settled with the Blue Jays on a $23 million contract for 2018 on Friday, avoiding arbitration, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

The club has not confirmed the agreement, which was first reported by Sportsnet's Shi Davidi.

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This was Donaldson's final year of arbitration eligibility, with the 32-year-old set to become a free agent after this season. He earned $17 million in 2017.

Donaldson, a three-time All-Star and the 2015 American League MVP, is one of the top players in baseball. He hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and 78 RBIs in 113 games for Toronto last season.

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The deal will set an arbitration record, beating Bryce Harper's old mark of just over $21 million dollars.

Earlier Friday, the Blue Jays agreed to terms with third outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and left-handed reliever Aaron Loup on contracts for the 2018 season to avoid arbitration.

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Carrera, 30, batted .282/.356/.408 with eight homers and 10 steals in 131 games for Toronto last season while earning $1,162,500. He'll receive a bump in salary this year to $1.9 million (all figures in US dollars).

Loup, also 30, went 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 70 appearances for the Blue Jays in 2017. He'll earn $1,812,500 this season after making $1.125 million last year.

The Blue Jays have five arbitration-eligible players remaining, including Marcus Stroman, Kevin Pillar, Aaron Sanchez, Roberto Osuna and Devon Travis.

Friday at 1 p.m. ET is the deadline for arbitration-eligible players and their teams to exchange proposed salary figures for 2018. If teams do not end up settling with a player, they go to a hearing, in which a panel of arbitrators decides between the two competing figures.

MLB.com | By David Adler

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