Toronto Blue Jays: Will Josh Donaldson get his long-term extension?

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 31: Josh Donaldson
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 31: Josh Donaldson /

Even though Josh Donaldson signed a record deal for arbitration-eligible players, questions persist regarding his long-term future with the Toronto Blue Jays.

In many respects,the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Josh Donaldson mirrors the Toronto Blue Jays as a whole. What direction do president Mark Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins want to take, with Donaldson and the organization generally?

Last month, the 2015 AL MVP avoided arbitration after agreeing a one-year, $23 million deal. It was notable for being a record figure for an arbitration-eligible player.

However, it also seemed to allude to the Blue Jays’ reluctance to commit to Donaldson long-term, something he has expressed interest in. In that respect, the player hasn’t heard anything from the Blue Jays yet, as reported recently by Gregor Chisholm of

"“I kind of let my agent take care of what’s going on, as far as those types of talks,” said Donaldson. “He fills me in whenever there’s information that’s going on with that. To my knowledge, there hasn’t been (any talks) up to this point. I think it will be a fluid situation at some point, it’s just not now.”"

To outsiders, one perception is the Blue Jays are hedging their bets. If the team is out of contention as the trade deadline approaches, there is every possibility they will look to move Donaldson.

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However, if the Jays do remain in contention, they will likely hold onto the three-time All-Star until the end of the season. However, even at this point, he may still be allowed to leave and become a free agent.

The likelihood of the 32-year-old leaving at some point in 2018 becomes even stronger, given he will turn 33 in December. While the Blue Jays’ reluctance to offer Jose Bautista a long-term deal was understandably, they should have fought harder to keep Edwin Encarnacion, who was still producing at a high level (and continued to do so for the Cleveland Indians last season).

Interestingly, while Donaldson says he has heard nothing, Atkins did discuss the situation recently during his presentation at a PitchTalks event. As reported by John Lott of The Athletic, the general manager said:

"“We do have that number. We have come up with a clear walkaway that we would be willing to commit to him to extend (the contract) for him to remain a Blue Jay probably for the rest of his career.”"

Now on the surface, this may sound encouraging, but we have no idea what the figure is that Atkins and the Toronto Blue Jays are prepared to commit to the two-time Silver Slugger. How far — and low — would they be prepared to push their luck, knowing full well he will likely be able to command a big pay day in free agency?

While it may sound like we’re being pessimistic about the chances of Donaldson remaining long-term in Toronto, this is more about being objective and taking previous actions by the current regime into account. In truth we’d have absolutely no issue with being proven wrong, and it will be intriguing to see how this storyline plays out.

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How do you predict the situation involving Donaldson will play out? Will he get his extension, get traded during 2018 or see out the season and move on next year? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.