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Five Blue Jays players were willing to defer salary to help bring Ervin Santana to Toronto

Apr 4, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets Getty Images

John Lott of the National Post reports that the five highest-paid Blue Jays — Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes, R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle — were willing to defer part of their 2014 salaries, reportedly close to $3 million apiece, so that the club could sign then-free agent pitcher Ervin Santana.

According to Lott, the deal fell through “at the 11th hour”. Santana wound up signing with the Braves on a one-year, $14.1 million deal on March 12.

Blue Jays third baseman Edwin Encarnacion was one player willing to sacrifice to make the team better:

“If they ask me to do that for anybody — it doesn’t have to be [Santana] — I do it,” Encarnacion said Friday afternoon after acknowledging that he was part of the group. “I want to win. I want to make this team better.”

Outfielder Jose Bautista deferred to GM Alex Anthopoulos.

The Jays have seen their payroll explode over the last two seasons, increasing from $84 million in 2012 to $119 million in 2013, then to over $137 million to start the 2014 season. Jays CEO Paul Beeston said that the club’s owner, Rogers Communications, would have to have been convinced that further increasing the payroll would lead to an increase in revenue.

Santana had a late start to the spring due to his extended free agency, so he was skipped over for his first turn in the Braves’ rotation and is expected to make his season debut on April 9 at home against the Mets.

  1. elwaysagenius - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    Really sucks that the blue jays are so cash-strapped by having a small company like Roger’s owning it. /s

  2. proudlycanadian - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    At the end, Santana decided that he preferred to pitch in the NL East rather than the AL East. He was obviously thinking that pitching in the AL East would be detrimental to his personal stats.

    • hoopmatch - Apr 5, 2014 at 4:13 AM

      Maybe he just doesn’t like standing for two national anthems per game.

    • genericcommenter - Apr 5, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      So what if he was? If I’m a 31 year-old pitcher with an inconsistent career track record, and I’m on a 1 year deal, I’m definitely looking to have a solid statistical season.

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 5, 2014 at 11:57 AM

        If you had read my comment on an earlier thread, you would have noticed that I did not criticize him for his decision.

      • genericcommenter - Apr 6, 2014 at 9:03 PM

        proudlycanadian
        I try to read all your comments on every post but sometimes I miss a couple.

  3. randygnyc - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Santana left the Jays holding the bag with his covert, surprise signing in Atlanta. I wonder how those players who made a full court press for him, feel about Santana now?

  4. twinfan24 - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    Sacrifice?? Seriously?? The money would have just been deferred. They weren’t taking less salary, just getting it paid to them later. I think someone needs to rethink their definition of sacrifice.

    • jjschiller - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:02 PM

      I suppose you’d be willing to have 20-25% of YOUR salary withheld, payable in yearly installments over the next 6 to 8 years, so your company could afford to pay somebody else now?

      • shawnuel - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:12 PM

        I would, if it greatly improved my company and I made 10’s of millions per year.

      • twinfan24 - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:42 AM

        I do get part of it deferred, really. Money goes into my 401K and any profit sharing gets auto paid into a retirement type account instead of paid as cash. So, I already get money deferred.

        But, when you are talking 5 digits instead of 7 or 8 digits in the salary, it is not a reasonable comparison. But, we can’t expect someone to be reasonable on the internet. It is easier to make these millionaires out to be martyrs. If they defer money, they are still taking home more than enough money to live on. I’ll never quite understand how any rational person can make out pro players to have it so rough. How delusional. You do realize these wouldn’t be the fringe players deferring money, as they wouldn’t make enough to make it worth deferring. So, these would all have been players making multiple millions per season. They wouldn’t have been poor. And, who said they wouldn’t have gotten more money later to account for the time value of money?

    • Reflex - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:40 PM

      Deferred money is worth less than money up front, always. This did not say the Jays would pay it with interest, only that they’d not pay it until later. That means they effectively were taking a pay cut, both in the short and long term by making this offer.

      Yes, that is the definition of a sacrifice.

      • twinfan24 - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:46 AM

        Oh, boo hoo! So, in 10 years, they might have $20.2 million instead of $20.3 million, or some other ridiculous money. The point wasn’t that deferred money might not be less, it is that anyone making tens of millions isn’t making any sacrifices. Money you can live without isn’t a sacrifice, by definition. People making multi-millions can live without the extra million without negatively impacting their lives. Hence, not a true sacrifice. We must have gotten an influx of CEOs and politicians on this site that are used to doing next to nothing useful for way too much money and feel they have to defend their fellow millionaires. If that is the case, it’s really sad.

      • praisethelards - Apr 5, 2014 at 12:22 PM

        I could be wrong, but… since right now they’re probably paying higher taxes in Canada, should the deferred funds be paid to them after they’re no longer working in the country, would that not lead to a lower tax bill?

      • Reflex - Apr 5, 2014 at 7:35 PM

        twinsfan24 – I’ll believe that when you willingly take a similarly scaled paycut so the company you work for can hire someone else. Call me when you do that.

  5. phluffyclouds - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    Man with a healthy Reyes and Ervin Santana in the rotation, I’d be a lot more excited about Blue Jays baseball in 2014.

    With that said, I’m watching the Jays/Yankees right now! OK BLUE JAYS!!

  6. randygnyc - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    Who said sacrifice?
    Jays players most certainly went above and beyond, from sending texts, pictures and the willingness to defer money. And we’re left at the altar

    • twinfan24 - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      Bill Baer said sacrifice, just up above there. Maybe try some reading comprehension. Oh boy! They sent some texts and pictures. So, now what teenagers do all day everyday is going above and beyond? What a joke.

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