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Blue Jays Agree To Two-Year Extension With Josh Donaldson

Last week, we talked about how the Blue Jays wanted to keep Josh Donaldson in Toronto for “as long as humanly possible.” Well, apparently “as long as humanly possible” is two years.

According to Shi Davidi, the Blue Jays have agreed to a two-year extension with Donaldson worth $29 million. As we all know, players don’t get paid nearly as much during their arbitration years, compared to what they’d get paid as a free agent, but just for laughs, I’d like to point out that FanGraphs estimates that Donaldson’s production in 2015 was worth $69.9 million. No, not over a two-year extension — for that one MVP season.

It only made sense that the two sides would agree to some form of an extension before February 15, which is the date that their arbitration hearing was scheduled for. Surely, it would not have been wise for the Blue Jays to take their star player to arbitration over a difference of $450,000, with Donaldson filing at $11.8 million and the Blue Jays countering at $11.35 million. However, I’m a little surprised that this deal was only for two years. A two-year deal only covers two of Donaldson’s three remaining arbitration years, which means that an arbitration hearing date might be on the table for a third time between the two sides in 2018.

On the positive side of things, though, having Donaldson’s salary on the books for 2017 makes it little bit easier for the Blue Jays to begin contract extension talks with Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, who the club has expressed interest in extending.