About two or three weeks ago, Josh Donaldson told Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins that he wanted to talk. The superstar third baseman had some things on his mind and wanted to make sure he was able to get them off his chest, face-to-face.

“I let him know where I stand and where I stand is I want to be a Blue Jay,” Donaldson, who has one year of club control remaining, told Sportsnet. “I love Toronto, I love playing there. By the same token, I understand their side of it and both sides have got to match. My first choice as of right now is I want to be here. I enjoy the city, I enjoy this team, I enjoy the people that are around here, and I just let him know that. I wanted to be up-front before anything else came out there, or something like that. ‘Hey this is where I stand, I want you to know this.’

“There was no talk about a contract or any type of dollars. It was just my feelings and letting him know where my heart is at and ultimately we’ll see if anything can get worked out.”

Donaldson is arbitration-eligible for the final time before he can become a free agent after the 2018 season, and his future has been widely speculated on since last winter. Extending Donaldson, one of the game’s premier offensive players, will be expensive.

The Blue Jays have said they intend to take another run at the post-season with their current core which would preclude trading him away, but they risk letting him walk for only a compensatory draft pick afterwards.