Reds sign Sean Marshall to $16.5 million extension

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Two months after acquiring him from the Cubs the Reds have signed Sean Marshall to a three-year contract extension, which keeps the 29-year-old reliever from hitting the open market as a free agent next offseason.

Marshall was already under contract for $3.1 million this season, which is his final year of arbitration eligibility, so the extension will buy out his first three years of free agency and keep him in Cincinnati through 2015. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that it’s worth $16.5 million.

Marshall has somewhat quietly been one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball since shifting to the bullpen full time in mid-2009 and has a 2.67 ERA with 228 strikeouts in 219 career innings as a reliever.

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.