Donaldson agrees to $23m deal with Toronto

Josh Donaldson

TORONTO — Third baseman Josh Donaldson and the Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a $23 million contract Friday, the largest one-year deal for an arbitration-eligible player.

The 32-year-old, a three-time All-Star, topped the $21,625,000, one-year deal covering 2018 agreed to last May by outfielder Bryce Harper and Washington.

Donaldson, the 2015 AL MVP, got a $6 million raise after rebounding from an injury-slowed 2016 to hit .270 last season with 33 homers and 78 RBIs in 113 games. The sure-handed infielder missed time from April 14 through May 25 with a calf injury, which also hampered him during spring training.

Donaldson was coming off a $28.65 million, two-year deal. He is eligible for free agency after this season.

Toronto also agreed to one-year deals with outfielder Ezequiel Carrera for $1.9 million, left-hander Aaron Loup for $1,812,500, outfielder Kevin Pillar for $3.25 million, right-hander Aaron Sanchez for $2.7 million, second baseman Devon Travis for $1.45 million and right-hander Dominic Leone for $1,085,000.

Carrera earned $1,162,500 last season, when the 30-year-old Venezuelan played every outfield spot and batted .282 with eight homers and 20 RBIs in a career-high 131 games for the Blue Jays - 91 of those in left field.

Pillar batted .256 with 16 homers and 42 RBIs in 154 games.

Loup, who made $1,125,000 in 2017, went 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 70 appearances and 57 2/3 innings. Sanchez went 1-3 with a 4.25 ERA in eight starts, while Leone was 3-0 with a 2.56 ERA in a career-high 65 appearances and his most innings at 70 1/3.

Toronto’s remaining arbitration eligible players are right-handers Marcus Stroman and Roberto Osuna. Stroman is seeking $6.9 million and Toronto countered at $6.5 million, and Osuna asked for $5.8 million while the Blue Jays offered $5.3 million.

Stroman is coming off a career-best year in which he went 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA in 31 starts while reaching 200 innings for the second straight season (201). He made $3.4 million last season.

Osuna was 3-4 with a 3.38 ERA with a career-best 39 saves in 66 appearances and 64 innings.

Cubs agree with Bryant

Chicago Cubs slugger Kris Bryant agreed on a one-year, $10.85 million (8.89 million euros) deal with the Chicago Cubs Friday, a record for a player in his first year of eligibility for salary arbitration.

Bryant’s deal surpasses the $10 million deal Ryan Howard made with the Philadelphia Phillies before the 2008 season.

Bryant and Howard each won National League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards in their first two seasons in Major League Baseball.

Bryant, who has received MVP votes in all three of his major league seasons, hit .295 with 29 home runs last season for the Cubs.

Chicago paid him $1.05 million in 2017, which was a record by $50,000 for a player not yet eligible for salary arbitration.

Bryant was among the five arbitration-eligible Cubs players who reached agreement with the team before the deadline for unsigned players to exchange salary arbitration figures with the club.

Shortstop Addison Russell agreed to terms on a $3.2 million contract while infielder Tommy La Stella and pitchers Justin Wilson and Kyle Hendricks also came to terms. — Agencies