The plan for some Toronto Blue Jays players to defer their salaries in order to sign free agent pitcher Ervin Santana was beyond the planning stages.
First reporting on the proposal on Thursday, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal now indicates that the wheels were in motion to a greater extent than previously thought and that the MLBPA had already signed off on the plan.
"Everyone had signed off," a source told Rosenthal of the plan. "It was already done."
In the past the MLBPA has been reticent to allow its players to forego a contractual benefit, which includes deferral of salary, without commensurate return. It remains unclear where the impetus for the proposal came from, but it's likely that the players would not have conceived of such an idea had they not been led to believe that the team could not afford or were not interested in Santana.
According to the Associated Press, the Blue Jays' $132.6 million salary for 2014 is the 10th-highest in the MLB, but it's unknown if the team is willing to take on more salary if the need were to arise.
The 31-year-old Santana eventually turned down a one-year, $14 million offer from the Jays to accept the same deal from the Atlanta Braves, who were looking to shore up their rotation following the loss of Kris Medlen to Tommy John surgery. He is scheduled to make his first start for the Braves on Wednesday night.