Third baseman Josh Donaldson and the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday broke the record for the highest salary among players eligible for arbitration, reaching agreement on a one-year deal for $23 million, a source told ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, confirming multiple reports.
Donaldson, 32, is a three-time All-Star and the 2015 American League MVP. He rebounded from an injury-slowed 2016 to hit .270 last season with 33 homers and 78 RBIs. He missed 49 games last season, largely because of a calf injury.
Donaldson, who will be eligible for free agency after the 2018 season, earned $17 million last year in the final season of a $28.65 million, two-year deal.
Since his debut, Donaldson ranks second in WAR among all position players, trailing only Mike Trout (43.8 to 36.2).
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.
Sanchez, who was limited to eight starts in 2017 after four stints on the disabled list because of a nagging blister on his middle finger, signed for $2.7 million. He went 1-3 with a 4.25 ERA, after an All-Star season in 2016 in which he was 15-2 with an AL-best 3.00 ERA.
Carrera, who hit .282 with eight home runs and 20 RBIs last season while earning $1,162,500, signed for $1.9 million. Loup, who went 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 70 games, signed for $1.8 million.
Pillar batted .256 with 16 homers and 42 RBIs in 154 games. He can earn a $50,000 bonus for 450 plate appearances.
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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.