NEW YORK/January 12, 2018 (AP)(STL.News) — Third basemen Josh Donaldson and Kris Bryant set records Friday when they were among 145 players who agreed to one-year contracts rather than swap proposed salaries in arbitration with their teams.
Donaldson and Toronto agreed at $23 million, the largest one-year deal for an arbitration-eligible player. The 32-year-old, a three-time All-Star, topped the $21,625,000, one-year deal covering 2018 agreed to last May by outfielder Bryce Harper and Washington.
Donaldson, the 2015 AL MVP, got a $6 million raise after rebounding from an injury-slowed 2016 to hit .270 last season with 33 homers and 78 RBIs in 113 games. The sure-handed infielder missed time from April 14 through May 25 with a calf injury, which also hampered him during spring training.
Bryant settled with the Chicago Cubs at $10.85 million, the most for a player eligible for arbitration for the first time. The previous mark was held by Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard, who was awarded $10 million by a three-person panel in 2008.
Bryant hit .295 with 29 home runs and 73 RBIs last year, when he made $1.05 million. The previous season, he earned National League MVP honors when he hit .292 with 39 homers and 102 RBIs. The Cubs won the World Series that year for the first time since 1908.
Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado, like Donaldson eligible for free agency after this season, agreed at $16 million. Houston pitcher Dallas Keuchel agreed to a $13.2 million deal.
Just 27 players swapped figures are remain on track for hearings next month.