"The tax was fine," said Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who would have lost a pick if he had exceeded the signing limit by more than 5 percent. "I don't want to minimize it, but that's OK. We don't want to lose picks. The opportunity to select in an area is worth whatever the tax was going to be, and we factored for it, we wanted to allocate for it. We weren't geared toward spending that way, but if it had to work out that way, we had the ability.
"We weren't going to not sign a player because of the tax, we were going to not sign players if it meant forfeiting a Draft pick the following year."
Toronto implemented the strategy of drafting players who were considered easy signs in rounds four through 10. Each player taken in those rounds is under contract for $1,000-$5,000, while the leftover money was then used to pay the likes of Matt Smoral and Anthony Alford.
The decision to almost forfeit the picks in the middle rounds was made easier because the club had three compensatory picks following the departure of Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Jose Molina as free agents.
The Blue Jays won't have a similar luxury next year, and as a result, might have to reevaluate their overall plan of attack in future seasons.
"It just worked out that Smoral was sitting there," Anthopoulos said of the 50th overall pick. "At the beginning of the year, he was a guy we would have considered with our first pick, breaks his foot, slides, he's sitting there, he wants $2 million.
"Would you trade your fourth-, fifth- and sixth-round picks and second-round [money] for Smoral? That's the thought process. We'd check the board, what's left, what's the Draft look like for those rounds. That's not to say it's going to work out that way the following year. Maybe we'll just try to take a big guy in round one, it depends who slides to you."