San Francisco declined its team option on Aubrey Huff, giving him a $2 million buyout instead of a $10 million salary for 2013.
Huff had an excellent, red thong-fueled 2010 season for the Giants on their way to the World Series title, at which point they re-signed him to a two-year, $22 million contract that included the option for 2013.
For that money he hit .239 with 13 homers and a .668 OPS in 202 games and was basically a non-factor this year due in part to anxiety issues. At age 35 he’ll likely have to settle for a minor-league deal.
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.