Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson reach record $23 million arbitration deal

The Toronto Blue Jays and All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson reached agreement on a one-year deal worth $23 million for the 2018 season to avoid salary arbitration and break the record for the highest salary among players eligible for arbitration, according to multiple reports.

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.

The 32-year-old Donaldson hit .270 with 33 home runs and 78 RBI in 113 games last season. He missed 49 games, mostly due to a calf injury.

Donaldson earned $17 million last year in the final season of a $28.65 million, two-year deal. The three-time All-Star and the 2015 AL MVP will be eligible for free agency after the 2018 season.

In addition, the Blue Jays agreed to one-year deals with outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and left-hander Aaron Loup to avoid arbitration.

Carrera hit .282 with eight homers and 20 RBI last season. He signed a $1.9 million deal for 2018.

Loup went 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 70 relief appearances in 2017. He signed for $1.8 million.