UPDATE: Rockies and Jason Hammel avoid arbitration with two-year deal

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The Rockies and right-hander Jason Hammel avoided arbitration today by agreeing to a two-year contract, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Exact terms haven’t been disclosed, but the new contract will cover Hammel’s final two years of arbitration.

Hammel filed for $3.7 million and was offered $3.1 million by the Rockies when arbitration figures were exchanged on Tuesday. The 28-year-old right-hander made $1.9 million through the arbitration process last winter.

Acquired from the Rays in April of 2009, Hammel has a 4.57 ERA over his first two seasons with the Rockies. He went 10-9 with a 4.81 ERA and 141/47 K/BB ratio over 30 starts in 2010.

UPDATE: As this tweet from Rockies Roster correctly observes, Hammel was a Super Two last offseason, so he will still be under team control in 2013.

UPDATE II: Troy Renck of the Denver Post has the terms. Hammel signed a two-year, $7.75 million contract. He’ll make $3 million in 2011 and $4.75 million in 2012.

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.