The Toronto Blue Jays announced Monday night that they have come to terms with third baseman Josh Donaldson on a two-year contract.
The Toronto Blue Jays were able to announce, much to the relief of the Jays fans, that they have signed AL MVP Josh Donaldson to a two year deal worth $29 million, avoiding arbitration. The deal has gotten mixed reviews, but what this does is give the Blue Jays one more year of arbitration when it’s time to re-sign Donaldson prior to the 2018 season.
When Donaldson came over from the Oakland A’s last season, he went to an arbitration hearing and was given a one year deal worth $4.3 million. After that it was on to baseball and he made a big difference on that club. He made quite the splash in the 2015 season with the Toronto Blue Jays hitting .297/.371/.568, leading the American League in RBIs with 123, and in runs scored with 122. He also hit 41 homeruns. Donaldson was also an excellent defender at third base. Overall he put up an 8.8 WAR. Donaldson would go on to win the American League MVP, beating out Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout for the award. He brought in a fresh attitude and leadership skills that helped bring the Blue Jays to their first post-season appearance in over 20 years.
Locking in Josh Donaldson helps the Blue Jays and their powerful offense which will also showcases Troy Tulowitzki, Edwin Encarnacion, Russell Martin and Jose Bautista.
The arbitration date was set for February 15th, it would have been a little awkward telling Donaldson that he didn’t have a good enough of a season to earn the money he was asking for, especially since the difference was less than $500 thousand between his filing and that of the club.
New Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro has gone through a lot of criticism since the Jays were eliminated from the playoffs and Alex Anthopoulos left the team. Although this deal might be a bit short, Blue Jays fans can at least rest knowing that the bringer of rain will be in a Jays Jersey for at least two more years.
The Jays still need work, but this is another step in the right direction. The next step for Shapiro and Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins will be attempting to sign Bautista and Encarnacion to new contracts.