Josh Donaldson expects to become a free agent next offseason after shutting down contract talks with the Toronto Blue Jays, saying that the sides do not see “eye to eye” on a long-term deal.
Donaldson told reporters Monday that he and the Blue Jays “are not quite there” in terms of the framework of a deal and said he wants to focus on the upcoming season.
“We’ve had conversations about it, and I just think that we are not quite there,” the former American League MVP said. “Not quite there meaning there’s not a deal done and we’re just not there. We’re not in the same type of area, the same ballpark, to make a discussion to moving forward.
“To me, it’s just not that big of an issue to focus on right now, or throughout this season, because I don’t feel like the time is right at the moment, and I just want to really focus on what I can do to be better and what I can do in our locker room to be better.”
Donaldson said he recently told Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins that he wanted to table contract negotiations. The three-time All-Star third baseman did not rule out the possibility of remaining with Toronto on a long-term deal, but said those discussions would have to wait until later in the year.
“I believe they want me,” Donaldson said. “If they didn’t want me, we wouldn’t be having any type of discussions leading up to this point. They’ve been very good with the communication process. We just aren’t eye to eye at this moment.”
Last Thursday, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson came bounding into the reception area at the club’s spring training office complex to see general manager Ross Atkins.
But before allowing him to jump in the elevator, the office receptionist insisted that the Bringer of Rain first sign in. Apparently, it’s routine for all visitors.
The conversation was overheard by the jaded reporters in the media room and the jokes soon began, the biggest gag being that Donaldson would be so turned off about being forced to sign in that he’d put an end to contract extension talks.
Lo and behold, Donaldson faced the media at Dunedin Stadium on Monday and said that contract extension talks with the Jays have, for all intents and purposes, ceased. He says he wants to concentrate on the season and help the Jays win a World Series.
Of course, it’s highly doubtful that his being forced to sign in last Thursday had anything to do with the current situation, but Jays fans might be sad to learn that, as far as Donaldson is concerned, he may be heading to free agency next season.