Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star that he could have asked ownership to bid $30MM-plus on Aroldis Chapman.
"Paul [Beeston, the team's president] and ownership were fully prepared to endorse it," Anthopoulos said. "I guess my one regret is I wish it was a greater comfort level on our part. We weren't as familiar with the player as we needed to be."
But the next time the Blue Jays are pursuing a player they want, the GM is confident the club will be able to add payroll. He says the team was receptive to one possible deal that would have seen the Jays take on $4-5MM. The GM wants to put a presentable product on the field, even though his club is rebuilding. Anthopoulos acknowledged that fans come out to see the Jays play well, but says he'll only set aside the team's long-term goals to an extent.
"If we sign a certain free agent is it short-term? Do we have to surrender draft picks? Well that doesn't make a whole lot of sense."
The Blue Jays didn't surrender any draft picks this offseason, but they obtained three when Marco Scutaro and Rod Barajas signed elsewhere. Anthopoulos says major league free agency is just one place the club looks for talent.
"We're opening minor-league free agency. We're impacting the Rule 5 Draft. We're impacting waiver claims. We're impacting the draft with the amateurs. We're impacting Latin America."