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11-15-2012, 06:55 PM
Nasty Nazem
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Rogers management saw things differently. While the team’s play had disappointed fans, the club’s attendance increased 15 per cent last season, and revenue was higher than expected. Some marketable players, like Brett Lawrie and Josť Bautista, were attracting fans across the country. Meanwhile, divisional rivals the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox looked vulnerable for the first time in years, and MLB had just concluded television deals that would put about $25-million extra in each team’s pocket. Suddenly, spending more on players looked like a smart investment and a chance to capitalize on fortunate events. In the words of a source familiar with the trade: “The banana was ripening.”

A few weeks ago, Rogers management cleared the way for Jays’ president Paul Beeston and general manager Alex Anthopoulos to take the payroll as high as $120-million for the season if necessary, according to the source. Mr. Anthopoulos went out to look for players, and soon found a willing seller in Jeffery Loria, owner of the Marlins, who seemed eager to unload some team members with big contracts. The two concluded the trade this week, even as the Red Sox tried to poach a couple of the Florida players, not realizing Mr. Loria was interested in a much bigger transaction.

Interesting. I am surprised we didn't hear of this earlier though with how tight lipped this organization is, it shouldn't be that surprising that we didn't. If they can go all the way to 120M, Jays still may have 10M+ to play around with.

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