The decision represents a big win for the organization not only for this season but also in years to come. The salary earned in 2015 will impact the amount Donaldson can make in each of his next three arbitration years, which could save the Blue Jays millions of dollars.
The victory for Toronto also opens up additional funds that could be used this year. The Blue Jays had to account for the approximately $1.4 million difference between asking prices to safeguard against a possible victory for Donaldson.
This marks the first year the Blue Jays have gone through the arbitration process since a hearing was held for right-hander Bill Risley in 1997. In addition to Donaldson's case, Toronto also took infielder Danny Valencia to arbitration this offseason and lost that ruling. Valencia will earn $1.675; Toronto had been seeking a $1.2 million salary.
Donaldson was one of the biggest additions the Blue Jays made after the 2014 season. He was acquired for infielder Brett Lawrie, prospect Franklin Barreto, left-hander Sean Nolin and right-hander Kendall Graveman. This was the first time Donaldson was eligible for arbitration, and he has three years remaining because of his Super 2 status.
In 158 games for Oakland last year, Donaldson hit .255 with 29 home runs and 98 RBIs. He also posted a .342 on-base percentage, .798 OPS and is generally considered one of the better defenders at third base. The two sides went to arbitration after they were unable to find common ground on a short-term deal.
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This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.