Heyman | Blue Jays and Kevin Pillar avoid arbitration

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson makes his way back to the dugout at the end of first-inning baseball game action against the Houston Astros in Toronto Sunday

Josh Donaldson established a single-season payout record for arbitration-eligible players by settling on a $23-million, one-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, avoiding a potential hearing, an industry source told Sportsnet on Friday. That gave the Blue Jays some cost certainty for two of Donaldson's arb years, but it also allowed Donaldson to cash in on that final arbitration year, which he's reportedly done in a big way.

The previous record for an arbitration-eligible player was Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper's $21.625 million deal for 2018, which was finalized last May. Toronto also agreed to deals with outfielder Ezequiel Carrera for $1.9 million and left-hander Aaron Loup for $1,812,500.

"We definitely still have flexibility and we definitely have room to make moves whether that be via free agency or trade and I feel like we're in a good position to make our team better", Atkins said.

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The 32-year-old three-time all-star, who was eligible for arbitration, becomes the highest paid player on the Jays.

-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.

-The Colorado Rockies and center fielder Charlie Blackmon agreed to a one-year deal worth $14 million.

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Donaldson has a.285 batting average with 111 home runs and 300 RBIs over three seasons in Toronto.

Joining Pillar was third baseman Josh Donaldson, second baseman Devon Travis, and right-handed pitchers Dominic Leone and Aaron Sanchez. The 2016 AL ERA leader was projected to earn $1.9 million in 2018 after a disappointing 2017 season and the lingering blister issues.

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