DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez said he has no hard feelings toward the organization after having his contract renewed at the new Major League minimum of $535,000 this week.
The team had offered a larger raise to Sanchez, who was 15-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 2016, his first full season in the big leagues. When Sanchez and agent Scott Boras declined it, the Blue Jays exercised their right to renew his contract for the minimum. Sanchez made $517,800 in 2016, when the minimum was $507,500.
"That's just something we didn't agree on," said Sanchez after giving up three runs in 2 1/3 innings in a 11-5 loss to the Yankees on Thursday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. "They said that's their policy. I'm just here to worry about me getting better and helping this team get to where it's trying to go. That's always been my mindset, and I don't think that will ever change. I'll let all that other stuff come when the time comes."
Asked if he felt "valued" by management, Sanchez nodded.
"Absolutely," he said. "We just had a disagreement, and I want to leave it at that. There are no hard feelings between [general manager Ross Atkins] and I, between me and this organization. It's time to go play baseball, really. All that other stuff isn't relevant to me.
"I'm here for another four years, so there's nothing to worry about. Obviously, we came upon a disagreement, and that's the business part. That being said, I have goals to accomplish for myself, goals to accomplish as a team. I have teammates I have to pitch for and fans in Toronto I have to pitch for. My job is to come to the field and be ready to work hard and get better. And that's what I come to do. All that other stuff is outside noise to me."
Sanchez's comments came after a brief negotiation between Boras and Atkins. The agent told Sportsnet.ca that the Blue Jays' policy was "rigid" and that it's "the harshest treatment in baseball that any club could provide for a player."
"I don't see it as punitive," said Atkins, "because it's your choice not to accept the higher number."
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.