With a second-inning, game-tying, two-run home run off of Blue Jays lefty Mark Buehrle tonight, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis upped his total to 35 on the season, becoming the fourth player to go into the All-Star break with at least 35 dingers. He joins Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Reggie Jackson on the short list, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The Orioles, by the way, went on to win 8-5.
Miguel Cabrera logged his 95th RBI of the season tonight and moved his average up to .367, both league-leading totals. Davis, however, leads him in home runs 35 to 30 as the Tigers third baseman attempts to go back-to-back with the Triple Crown.
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.