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.
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.
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.
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.