Atkins: Blue Jays have valued Donaldson ahead of extension talks

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The Toronto Blue Jays aren’t sharing many details about potential extension talks with Josh Donaldson, but the club has at least placed a value on the third baseman as he begins his final season before free agency.

Included in the club’s evaluation are objective factors such as historical aging curves and offensive and defensive evaluations. The front office also weighs subjective information such as leadership skills to arrive at a conclusion.

“That determines a value. We come up with a number and that number is X,” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi at a Pitch Talks event in Toronto on Thursday. “We do have that number. We have come up with a clear walkaway that we would be willing to commit to him to extend for him to remain a Blue Jay probably for the rest of his career.”

Donaldson will earn $23 million this coming season as an arbitration-eligible player and projects to earn more still as a free agent. Given his price tag, the Blue Jays will also take into account the impact an extension would have on future payrolls.

The Blue Jays’ top prospect also plays third base, but the presence of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. won’t be an issue, according to Atkins.

“That is not going to keep us from signing Josh Donaldson,” he said.

If necessary the club could play Guerrero Jr. at another position such as left field as a way of fitting both players into the same lineup.

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