The Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson avoided arbitration Friday at a record $23 million, Sportsnet first reported.
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) January 12, 2018
The previous record deal for an arbitration-eligible player was Bryce Harper's $21.625 million for the 2018 season, which was finalized last May.
Donaldson, 32, has been the subject of numerous trade rumors this offseason, with the Cardinals seemingly the most aggressive in bidding for his services. A career .277 hitter, Donaldson has hit at least 29 home runs in each of the last four seasons.
Toronto will likely now try to work out an extension with Donaldson even though he's on the wrong side of 30. Limited to just 113 games last season, Donaldson still bashed 33 home runs.
Donaldson, a three-time All-Star and 2015 AL MVP, could still get traded this offseason, but the Blue Jays haven't appeared overly interested in moving their star slugger.