Chris Iannetta’s contract included a $5 million mutual option for 2013, but the 29-year-old catcher and the Angels have torn that up and agreed to a new three-year, $15.5 million deal that runs through 2015.
Iannetta fell out of favor in Colorado and was traded to the Angels last November for Tyler Chatwood. He missed three months in the middle of the season with a fractured wrist, but played well after returning with a .258 batting average, six homers, and a .741 OPS in 53 second-half games.
His overall numbers weren’t great, but that was to be expected once Iannetta was no longer calling Coors Field home for half his games and a solid defensive catcher with a .338 on-base percentage and a little pop is definitely starting-caliber.
Iannetta sticking around for the next three seasons is bad news for 24-year-old prospect Hank Conger’s chances of ever being the Angels’ starting catcher and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the former first-round pick shopped this offseason.
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.