Josh Donaldson Says He, Blue Jays 'Don't See Eye to Eye' on Contract Talks

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30:  Josh Donaldson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 30, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 2-1.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Toronto Blue Jays superstar Josh Donaldson told reporters Monday he and the team have discussed a long-term contract extension but "don't see eye to eye." He said he expects to become a free agent after the 2018 season.

He added that extension negotiations could "ramp back up" in the future, however.

Donaldson also said he wants to shut down talks for now to prepare for the upcoming season, though he classified talks with the team to this point as "cordial." He also said he believes he has plenty of great baseball left in the tank:

John Lott @LottOnBaseball

Donaldson says analytics unfairly put all players in their 30s in same bucket while projecting decline in performance. Each athlete should be assessed on individual basis, he says. Believes he has a “lot of longevity” left. #BlueJays

Finally, Donaldson noted that his relationship with Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins and president Mark Shapiro is good and that he believes the team wants him back, but the two sides aren't on the same page yet in terms of an extension.

Donaldson, 32, is set to make $23 million in the final year of his current contract. He should be a hot commodity for teams next year once pending 2019 free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign what could be potentially groundbreaking and enormous contracts.

Donaldson has emerged as one of the game's best sluggers and third basemen. He hit .270 in the 2017 season with 33 homers, 78 RBI and 65 runs in just 113 games, posting an OPS of .944. He's now blasted at least 33 homers in three straight seasons and before 2017 had four straight years with 93 or more RBI.

The three-time All-Star and 2015 American League MVP is a key pillar in Toronto's offense, though that unit slumped in general in 2017, accumulating an American League-worst 693 runs last year. The team, in turn, limped to a 76-86 record, though injuries played a major part in their campaign, including Donaldson's calf tear to start the season.

This year, expectations will be tempered for Donaldson and the Blue Jays in the stacked AL East. Whether Donaldson remains in Toronto beyond the season appears uncertain until next winter.


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