MLBPA gives Fehr $11 million severance package

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Amy K. Nelson of ESPN.com reports that Donald Fehr will receive an $11 million severance package when he steps down as executive director of the MLB Players Association.
Michael Weiner has already been voted in as the replacement for Fehr, who has headed the MLBPA since 1983. He was paid $1 million annually from 2001-2008 and sources told Nelson that his salary “has been stagnant since before that as well” because Fehr declined raises that were offered to him.
Instead “the framework was in place from those offers to determine a fair package for Fehr when he decided to step down” and his severance was approved by the players last month, with an estimated 97 percent voting in favor. “I think without a doubt there was no hesitation,” union subcommittee member and Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson said. “We kept looking at how much Bud Selig makes and we looked at how much Don Fehr hasn’t made.”
Selig reportedly earns around $18 million annually and Nelson points out that Fehr’s basketball counterpart, Billy Hunter, took home $3.5 million this year.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.