"It was definitely right until the last minute," Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "I mean minute might be an understatement -- it definitely went down to the wire."
Anthopoulos, who handled the McGuire deal personally, said the two parties had been speaking in generalities for a long period leading up to the deadline, but a formal number was not submitted until roughly 10:30 p.m. As the time quickly elapsed, both sides conceded some ground and settled on a figure of $2 million.
"Other deals, it was part of it," said the 33-year old G.M, regarding why the deal went so late. "Again, there are so many components that go into a negotiation, I don't know that it was necessarily that we were waiting, it was just part of the negotiation back and forth, part of the dialogue.
"This is definitely the latest we've ever gone in terms of a negotiation, so glad to have it done, glad to have it behind us, and excited to have the players in the fold."
Along with McGuire, Jays management opened up its wallets and signed left-handed pitcher Griffin Murphy (61st overall for $800,000), right-hander Samuel Dyson (126th for $600,000) and shortstop Dickie Thon (156th for $1.5 million) Monday evening.
Unable to sign three of their top picks in last year's Draft, the Jays inked their top 13 choices this time around. Known in the past as having a reputation as a team with a tight payroll, in addition to the abundance of high round picks this year, it was somewhat unexpected that the club was able to get the results it did, especially since it went over the league recommended signing bonus on a few occasions.
Anthopolous however, was quick to emphasize that he was not shopping for bargains, but rather quality players. He added that he has never been a believer in trying to equate dollars spent to talent acquired.
"It's all about the quality of the player," Anthopoulos said. "I think there was certainly several circumstances where we were able to go after some players that maybe we wouldn't have been in the market for in the past. I think what it says is that our ownership is fully committed if the baseball operations team feels as though the right value is there, the right opportunity to sign a player is right there, and we present our case, they support us and give us the financial means to sign those players."
It was speculated earlier in the week that Anthopolous may pass on signing both McGuire and Murphy, in lieu of picks in next year's Draft.
Teams that are unable to sign Draft picks selected within the first two rounds, excluding compensation rounds, would receive a pick at the same slot plus one the following year. Therefore, if both McGuire (11th) and Murphy (61st) were left unsigned, the Jays would be awarded the 12th and 62nd picks in 2011.
Nevertheless, Anthopolous felt the moves the organization made were in the club's best interest, and that only time will tell if Monday's investments will pay future dividends.
"In respect to the quality, everyone feels good about their Draft the day after, the week after," He said. "We'll know how well we did or didn't do four or five years from now."