Garrett Atkins: 'I'll be on another team next year'

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For now at least the Rockies have held off on releasing Garrett Atkins, but the veteran third baseman admitted yesterday that he sees zero chance of remaining in Colorado: “I know that I’ll be on another team next year and I’m just getting ready to have a good season.”
Atkins’ performance has declined significantly in each of the past three seasons, leading to a career-worst .226/.308/.342 line in 399 plate appearances while losing his starting job this year.
He earned $7 million for that awful production and would be in line for a similar salary in 2010 via arbitration, so expect the Rockies to non-tender him next month. In the meantime they’ll keep him on the 40-man roster in the hopes of finding a taker via trade, but presumably there are no teams dumb enough to actually give up something of value in trade for the right to massively overpay Atkins.
Beyond his awful performance this season, Atkins is a career .252/.324/.411 away from Coors Field, turns 30 years old in a few weeks, and has always graded out poorly on defense at third base. And if for some crazy reason there’s still a team out there willing to pay a premium for that, they surely realize that the Rockies have no intention of actually keeping Atkins around long enough to go to arbitration.
Unless some team makes the mistake of trading for him before then, Atkins will be a free agent by December 12.

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.