Updated 02:29 AM EST, Sun, Dec 15, 2019

MLB Trade Rumors: Toronto Blue Jays in Financial Trouble? Deferrals Alarmed MLB Players Association

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The financially strapped Toronto Blue Jays remained interested in acquiring soon-to-be Atlanta Braves hurler Ervin Santana. Multiple players in the Blue Jays organization have reportedly expressed their willingness to take less money so the team can have room to sign him.

According to an article from Sportsnet's Shi Davidi, five Jays players--Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey--have all agreed to defer money as they try to cover the $14 million deal for Santana, who went 9-10 with 3.24 ERA and 161 strikeouts last season. However, all their efforts were for naught after the Braves came out of nowhere to sign the hurler with a $14.1 million deal.

"The five players told general manager Alex Anthopoulos that they would each defer portions of their salary in order to cover all of the $14 million that the free agent right-hander was seeking in a one-year deal," Davidi pointed out.

The reported deferrals of Blue Jays players raised some concerns about the franchise's flexibility in the 2014 season. Many baseball followers added the Jays could be in financial trouble.

"One agent told Rosenthal that he never took the situation that seriously, as the MLBPA wouldn't have allowed players to merely defer their salary without receiving some form of additional financial compensation. Still, as Rosenthal points out, the discussions raise some questions about the Jays' payroll flexibility for the 2014 season," MLB Rumors reported.

The Braves were not considered as a potential destination for Santana, as the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto fervently pursued the star pitcher after several tries of arranging a deal with him. However, Atlanta came up with a huge deal following injuries to key players in their pitching rotation.

"Ervin Santana certainly looked to be headed to the Blue Jays at one point this offseason, but late injuries to Braves right-handers Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy prompted Atlanta to swoop in and sign him to a one-year, $14.1MM contract (the same figure Toronto had offered)," MLB Rumors stated.

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