Avoids arbitration with record-breaking deal

Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson hits a three-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Toronto

The Blue Jays and star third baseman Josh Donaldson have agreed to an arbitration-record contract of $23 million for the 2018 season, Shi Davidi reports.

BC-BBA-Blue Jays-Donaldson, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 277 Josh Donaldson agrees to $23M, 1-year deal with Blue JaysAP Photo NY902Eds: Updates with other deals, details.

However, the 2015 American League MVP rebounded and slashed.276/.386/.606 with 24 home runs and 53 RBI after the All-Star break to finish the year with 33 dingers and 78 RBI.

It was a busy day for the Blue Jays, who signed five players to one-year deals to avoid arbitration.

Going the hearing route now would have done little good for the Blue Jays' relationship with Donaldson, especially with him eligible for free agency in the fall.

-Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann, who hit.253 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs last season, agreed to a $2.375 million salary for 2018.

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

-Outfielder Aaron Hicks signed a one-year, $2.85 million contract with the New York Yankees.

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.

Stroman, who won a career-high 13 games in 2017 while boasting a 3.09 ERA, required an arbitration hearing past year before securing a $3.4 million salary.

Joining Pillar was third baseman Josh Donaldson, second baseman Devon Travis, and right-handed pitchers Dominic Leone and Aaron Sanchez.

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