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Anthopoulos explains lack of Deadline deals

Anthopoulos explains lack of Deadline deals

HOUSTON -- It was one of the busiest non-waiver Trade Deadlines in recent memory, but in the end the Blue Jays came away with nothing to show for it.

Other contending teams made big moves, with Jon Lester going to the A's, David Price to the Tigers, John Lackey to the Cardinals, Andrew Miller to the Orioles and Martin Prado to the Yankees.

The Blue Jays had been in the market for help at either second or third base, in the bullpen and for additional depth in the rotation, but they weren't able to find a suitable partner as Thursday's 4 p.m. ET deadline came and went.

"You're always trying to get better. We weren't going to do deals we didn't think were going to make us better," general manager Alex Anthopoulos told reporters during an afternoon conference call. "Ultimately, if the deals had been there for us, we would have done them. But we didn't line up on any deals that we thought were going to improve the club."

Anthopoulos was asked on Thursday whether payroll parameters -- which had been questioned earlier in the season -- were behind the lack of activity, and he was adamant that was not the case.

"Not at all. [It] just didn't come out to lining up on value," he said. "I know a lot has been made about payroll and things like that. I can't stress this enough, especially going through the Trade Deadline: Our payroll is the highest it has ever been in the history of the organization. It has gone up last year -- I believe over 12 percent at this point.

"We absolutely had the financial resources to add at this Trade Deadline. ... Any deal that we felt was a good baseball deal, the finances were certainly there for us. That has never been a problem. ... We couldn't find a baseball deal that made sense for us, and that's really what it came down to."

That statement came less than an hour after the Yankees acquired Prado at a relative bargain. New York didn't have to part ways with any top prospects but did have to take on Prado's remaining $11 million this season, plus an additional $22 million over the next two years. The Yankees made a similar move earlier this month by taking on approximately $3 million of the $4 million that was owed to Chase Headley for the remainder of the season.

Anthopoulos instead said that the Blue Jays weren't able to make a move because of the asking price from other teams. He wouldn't get into specifics, but it's safe to say that a lot of other organizations wanted to acquire promising right-handers Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez.

"I think it's very fair to say, and rightfully so, a lot of our best players, young and established, on our 25-man roster were asked about," Anthopoulos said. "To talk about those guys, you'd fill in one hole and create a new hole. That's where you have to make a decision -- Are you actually better as a club?

"We were open-minded. You definitely want to hear what other clubs have to say and what ideas they might have, but when you start to look at your 25-man [roster], and you're trading some of your best players to address an area of what might be a weakness or a need, and you're ultimately creating another weakness, creating a hole, it wouldn't make any sense for us."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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