The team’s recent decision to renew Sanchez’s contract at $535,000 drew the ire of the young right-hander’s agent, Scott Boras. Before long, though, Sanchez could be earning much more, and the Blue Jays would welcome that development. After all, the more he’s making, the better he has pitched.
Club president and CEO Mark Shapiro said that he, along with general manager Ross Atkins, conveyed that to Sanchez.
“Ross and I have told Aaron, ‘Listen, we want to pay you a lot of money. We want to pay you more money. The more we pay you the better, because that means you’ve performed better,’” Shapiro said Friday during a guest spot on The Jeff Blair Show on Sportsnet 590 The FAN. “We want our guys to all do extremely well for us to have to pay them a ton of money. Because if we have to pay them a ton of money, that means they’re performing on the field, which means we have a better chance to be a championship team.”
Earlier this month the Blue Jays renewed Sanchez’s 2017 contract for the major-league minimum, a move that Boras did not agree with. The team offered Sanchez a small increase that was based on a formula for calculating pre-arbitration raises and the 24-year-old declined to accept, so the Blue Jays, adhering to a long-standing policy for cases where players don’t accept offered raises, opted to renew the right-hander at the major-league minimum.
“Toronto is so rigid, they not only have a very antiquated or substandard policy compared to the other teams for extraordinary performance, but if you don’t accept what that low standard is, they then have the poison pill of saying, you get paid the minimum,” Boras told Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi at the time. “It’s the harshest treatment in baseball that any club could provide for a player.”
Shapiro told Jeff Blair and Stephen Brunt on Friday morning that he’s conducted business with Boras for 20 years now and ultimately, the team’s interests are aligned with those of the player and the agent.
“We’re the best we can possibly be if Aaron Sanchez and all of our players play to their best abilities,” Shapiro said. “Every decision we make is about maximizing Aaron’s potential. As we walked through last year, we were the ones trying to be protective of his future, his potential, his upside.”