BC-BBA-Blue Jays-Donaldson, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 277 Josh Donaldson agrees to $23M, 1-year deal with Blue JaysAP Photo NY902Eds: Updates with other deals, details. He topped Bryce Harper's $21,625,000 salary this year with Washington. Limited to just 113 games last season, Donaldson still bashed 33 home runs.
Donaldson was eligible for salary arbitration after being paid $17 million last year in the final season of a two-year, $28.65 million contract.
"We definitely still have flexibility and we definitely have room to make moves whether that be via free agency or trade and I feel like we're in a good position to make our team better", Atkins said. The sure-handed infielder missed time from April 14 through May 25 with a calf injury, which also hampered him during spring training.
Earlier, the Jays announced they have avoided arbitration with outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and left-hander Aaron Loup, signing the pair to one-year contracts for 2018.
Hicks made $1.35 million last season, batting.266 with 15 home runs and 52 RBIs - all career highs - but also had two extended stints on the disabled list due to oblique injuries.
Stroman, who won a career-high 13 games in 2017 while boasting a 3.09 ERA, required an arbitration hearing previous year before securing a $3.4 million salary. Sanchez went 1-3 with a 4.25 ERA in eight starts, while Leone was 3-0 with a 2.56 ERA in a career-high 65 appearances and his most innings at 70 1/3.