Despite Josh Donaldson‘s claims that he would be “tickled pink” to sign a long-term deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, the club has yet to initiate extension talks with the third baseman, industry sources indicated to Steve Phillips of TSN.
Donaldson, who has one year remaining on his deal, told reporters last month that he let the Jays’ front office know that he’s open to remaining with the club long-term, but added that the ball is in their court.
“I’m not going to sit here and try to force their hand and they’re not going to sit here and force mine,” Donaldson said. “If it’s able to work out, I’d be tickled pink. But at the end of the day, I don’t make those decisions and I can’t control that. The only thing I can control is going out there and trying to help my team win on a day-to-day basis and produce the way I know I can.”
Since his arrival to Toronto, Donaldson has established himself as one of the premier players in baseball. He was the American League MVP in 2015, a two-time All-Star, and two-time Silver Slugger. He was limited to just 113 games last season due to injuries, but still managed to hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and 21 doubles.
The Blue Jays have $54 million in guaranteed salary committed to 2019, and $16.9 million in 2020, per Cots Baseball. Donaldson is arbitration eligible for the final time this winter, and is expected to land a $20.7-million salary in 2018, according to MLB Trade Rumors. He’ll likely command a contract in the $200-million range once he hits the market.
Donaldson is one of a number of All-Star free agents set for next year's class, along with Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Andrew McCutchen, Nelson Cruz, Craig Kimbrel, Adam Jones, and Andrew Miller.
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