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Athletics renew Josh Donaldson’s contract at the major league minimum salary

Mar 8, 2014, 1:25 PM EDT

Josh Donaldson Getty Getty Images

What does Josh Donaldson get after finishing fourth in the American League Most Valuable Player balloting last season? The major league minimum salary.

According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Athletics have renewed Donaldson’s contract at $500,000 for 2014. It’s a modest raise from the $492,500 he made last year, which was just above the (then) major league minimum salary of $490,000.

Heyman writes that Donaldson was initially offered more slightly more than $500,000, but the Athletics opted to renew his contract at the minimum after he declined the terms. It doesn’t look good, but the Athletics are within their rights to do it, as Donaldson isn’t yet arbitration-eligible.

Donaldson, 28, batted .301/.384/.499 with 24 home runs and 93 RBI over 158 games last season.

  1. dcarroll73 - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    The team may be entitled to do this, but they should not cry years later if the player laughs at the idea of a “home town discount”. I just think it is bad human relations for an organization to pay people who are clearly good performers only the required minimum be that a mid-six-figure league minimum or minimum wage. Would it have broken their budget to have given him at least the amount over minimum he had gotten plus a bit more? I don’t know what the background is with that mention of him declining an offer, but the team doesn’t look great in this.

    • Mark - Mar 8, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      He’s 28, odds are the Athletics will trade him before he reaches FA.

      Regardless Donaldson is the one who comes across looking bad, not the team. In the article it clearly says the A’s offered more money, Donaldson declined to accept the contract, so the A’s simply renewed his contract. They didn’t have to offer him a raise, they did, and yet Donaldson turned him down.

      • genericcommenter - Mar 8, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        What does that even mean? How does/why would he decline an offer they don’t even have to make?

      • historiophiliac - Mar 8, 2014 at 4:18 PM

        I don’t think he looks bad at all here. Clearly, there was something to the offer he wouldn’t agree to (and it certainly wasn’t that he didn’t want a raise). Refusing to agree to terms you don’t like isn’t bad. It’s the right thing for you to do. The fact that the team just went back to the minimum then doesn’t impress me. It says to me that when they didn’t get what they wanted (which they may have already figured going in), they proceeded with a plan that does not feature him much (which he may have known going in too). In any case, it sounds like a trade would be good for all parties involved.

        PS I really, really hate it when reporters don’t give you the full story and leave a lot of important questions unanswered — and you can’t blame it on the medium here because the online version of the story only has the same info. Seriously, no one in the last four hours could find out what about the offer didn’t work? Don’t get a hernia lifting on this one or anything, media. Geez.

    • jeffbbf - Mar 8, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      they’ll look like geniuses when Donaldson tanks in 2104. The phrase “1 year wonder” comes to mind.

      • Reflex - Mar 8, 2014 at 7:20 PM

        Don’t you mean “90 year wonder”?

  2. markofapro - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    DC73- do you think the A’s are even considering signing him when he becomes a free agent? It’s Billy Ball, man. Home town discount? Sheeeet. He’ll be traded before he becomes a FA!

    • jonrox - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      Are you aware that there is a reply function?

      • bringbackkosar - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:13 PM

        there is?

    • clydeserra - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      that may be true, but I think there could be a brett anderson type extension in his future

      • gbrim - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        Perhaps, but making him mad over very small dollars now is no way to win him over later.

  3. scatterbrian - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Hopefully just a move to get something on paper before the season starts, followed by some kind of extension.

  4. karlkolchak - Mar 8, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    My question is why he declined the offered raise given that he has zero leverage.

  5. dethrone408 - Mar 8, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    A’s need to sign Cespedes & Donaldson to contract extensions NOW!!!!!!

  6. forsch31 - Mar 8, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    Could help but notice this…..

    Two players, both 28, both coming off breakout years, both finishing fourth in their respective league’s MVP voting. One gets a 6-year extension, the other gets his league minimum salary renewed, after turning down an offer “slightly” more than the minimum.

    Different strokes for different folks…..

    • gloccamorra - Mar 9, 2014 at 5:07 PM

      That’s easy. One’s 6’0″ and 220 lbs. The other is 6’3″ and 215 lbs. The tall one’s body “projects” better, hits for average better, and strikes out less. The short one has real power but is a prime regression candidate with no real history of hitting as well as he did last year. The tall one has a high contact rate AND a high line drive rate for his career, projecting as a true .300 hitter. Conclusion: one year wonder vs. consistent producer.

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