Donaldson on Blue Jays: ‘I would really like to be here for a while’

AL MVP Josh Donaldson joins The Jeff Blair Show to discuss being a late bloomer, playing on artificial turf, transitioning from Oakland to Toronto, and his future with the Blue Jays organization.

Contract talks haven’t started up yet but Josh Donaldson says he wants to be with the Toronto Blue Jays for a long time.

“I really enjoy playing in Toronto,” the Blue Jays third baseman said Monday in a guest appearance on The Jeff Blair Show on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. “It’s a great environment for me. It sets up well for me and I would really like to be here for a while.”

Donaldson remains under club control until the end of the 2018 season and while he expects his agent to discuss his contract with the Blue Jays within the next week, he wouldn’t have any issue going to arbitration for the second straight year.

“I didn’t mind the process,” Donaldson said. “The arbitration system is meant for (the) player. I saw four or five years in the minors before I saw a comma in my cheque. I’m very thankful and it’s not something I look at the team negatively about.”

Donaldson lost his arbitration hearing last February with the Blue Jays when he asked his new club for $5.75 million while the Blue Jays argued for $4.3 million, but it didn’t lead to any hard feelings between the two sides.

“I look at it as a business,” Donaldson said. “I just love to play the game of baseball and get the opportunity to make a living. I want to make sure my family is taken care of but what I love the most is being able to go out there and help my team win and go compete.”

MLB Trade Rumors projects Donaldson’s salary will jump to $12 million in 2016 if the two parties go through arbitration.

Otherwise, Donaldson believes the Blue Jays have set themselves up for a sustained period of success with a strong group of core players and a clubhouse that understands what they need to do to win.

“There will be some new guys added here and there,” he said. “I was able to play with Jesse Chavez in Oakland and I think he’s going to fit right in as a very welcomed member of this team … The people that will be added — they’re going to understand as soon as they come into the clubhouse what’s going to be asked of them each and every day.”

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