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. He also tallied 33 homers despite missing significant time with a calf injury. Harper, like Donaldson, will be a free agent after this season and agreed in May to a 2018 salary of $21.625 million. They not only have to navigate the potential free agency of Donaldson, but also the long term situations of Stroman, and others like Osuna and even Aaron Sanchez.
Loup went 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 70 relief appearances in 2017. If the figure is indeed correct, it will set a new record for arbitration-eligible players.
After recording 95 saves in his first three Major League Baseball seasons, Osuna reportedly filed for $5.8 million in his first year of arbitration, while the Jays sent an offer of $5.3 million. That's definitely a double edged sword, and navigating the contract commitments to their talented young players will be something to keep an eye on in the coming years. A similar situation played out in 2017, with Stroman filing for 3.4 million against the Blue Jays' offer of 3.1 million, which ultimately worked in the former Duke University's favour.
There is speculation that if the Jays don't sign him to a long-term deal, he may be traded this upcoming season if the club does not get off to a good start and falls out of the playoff picture.
Bryant's deal surpasses the $10 million deal Ryan Howard made with the Philadelphia Phillies before the 2008 season.
Donaldson earned the AL Most Valuable Player Award in 2015, when he also received the Hank Aaron Award as the league's top hitter.
Should their cases proceed, an independent arbiter will hear from the team as well as Stroman and Osuna, before deciding on one of the two proposed salary figures by the start of Spring Training.