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MLB rumors: Josh Donaldson expects to hit free agency

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays-Workout Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Third baseman Josh Donaldson says he and the Blue Jays have discussed a possible extension, but they ‘don’t see eye to eye’ right now and he believes he will become a free agent after the season, according to John Lott of The Athletic.

Donaldson also told Lott that the talks between him and Toronto could “ramp back up” at some point, but Donaldson added that he wants to not discuss about an extension for now and instead prepare for the 2018 season.

Donaldson will make $23 million this year after he and the Blue Jays struck the record-breaking one-year deal on Jan. 12 to avoid arbitration. The 32-year-old is expected to make more than that if he elects for free agency after the season, barring teams that have any interest in him — such as the Cardinals — try to make a trade for him.

Earlier this month, the Blue Jays came up with a value for Donaldson in which they would offer him. Toronto general manager Ross Atkins revealed the process that helped them obtain the value, saying that the club looks at “objective factors such as historical aging curves and offensive and defensive evaluations.” In addition, the team’s “front office also weighs subjective information such as leadership skills to arrive at a conclusion.”

Donaldson also said to Lott that “analytics unfairly put all players in their 30s in same bucket while projecting decline in performance.” Donaldson added that each player should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and that he feels he has a “lot of longevity” left.

Donaldson has proven he is worth having in the lineup after smacking 33 homers while posting a .270/.385/.559 slash line and a 4.8 WAR in 113 games in a 2017 season that was held back by injury. In the three seasons prior, Donaldson hit 29, 41 and 37 homers, respectively, earning an All-Star selection in all three seasons and was named the AL MVP in 2015.