NEW YORK — AL MVP Josh Donaldson and the Toronto Blue Jays are nearing agreement on a $28.65 million, two-year contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

Donaldson and the Blue Jays had been scheduled for a salary arbitration hearing next week. The 30-year-old third baseman had asked for a raise from $4.3 million to $11.8 million and Toronto had offered $11.35 million when the sides exchanged proposed arbitration salaries last month.

Acquired from Oakland in November 2014, Donaldson made the AL All-Star team for the second straight season in 2015. He led the majors with 122 runs, topped the AL with 123 RBI, and hit .297 with 41 home runs.

RANGERS: Yu Darvish says he feels stronger than he did before elbow surgery last spring and plans to be back on the mound by mid-May or early June.

WHITE SOX: Mat Latos agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract with Chicago, giving Manager Robin Ventura another option for the back end of his rotation.

Latos had consecutive 14-win seasons with Cincinnati in 2012 and 2013, but hasn’t been able to duplicate that success in recent years. He played for the Marlins, Dodgers and Angels last season, finishing 4-10 with a 4.95 ERA.

YANKEES: Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, coming back after arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow last October, had a throwing session in New York.

After a pre-spring training workout at Steinbrenner Fieldin Tampa, Florida, pitching coach Larry Rothschild said all the reports are good regarding Tanaka’s rehabilitation program.

ORIOLES: A son of former Orioles star Rafael Palmeiro agreed to a minor league contract with Baltimore.

Patrick Palmeiro, a 26-year-old third baseman, played last season for Sugar Land of the independent Atlantic League and hit .256 with 13 homers and 68 RBI in 128 games.

MARINERS: Relief pitcher Joel Peralta, 39, agreed to a minor league contract with Seattle and will report to big league spring training.

Diamondbacks: Reliever Tyler Clippard signed a two-year, $12.25 million contract, a move intended to add proven experience to the Arizona bullpen.

PADRES: Outfielder Skip Schumaker, 36, agreed to a minor league contract and will be invited to big league spring training.

Schumaker became a free agent after Cincinnati declined a $2.5 million club option.

ARBITRATION: Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro became the first player to lose in salary arbitration this year.

Castro was awarded $5 million by arbitrators Matt Goldberg, Gary Kendellen and James Oldham. Castro had asked for a raise from $4 million to $5.25 million.

Players are 3-1 in arbitration this year. The pitchers won their hearings: Toronto’s Jesse Chavez ($4 million), Tampa Bay’s Drew Smyly ($3.75 million) and Cincinnati’s J.J. Hoover ($1.4 million).


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