DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Alex Anthopoulos spoke volumes with what he didnt say on right-hander Ervin Santana. The Blue Jays had been in the mix for the former Kansas City Royal with several Toronto players making a public plea to sign the 33-year-old former all-star. But Santana, a Dominican who counts several Jays as friends, elected instead to sign with the injury-ravaged Atlanta Braves. "I probably dont want to comment on how close I felt we got or didnt get," the Blue Jays general manager said Wednesday. Anthopoulos deflected many questions on Santana, leaving the impression he was not happy with the way the process had gone. Asked if he felt used, he said "No, no. But (thats) probably the only thing Im going to say." Money and terms apparently werent factors in Santanas decision to sign with Atlanta. "He had a strong desire to pitch in the NL and there was no way to compete with that," said Anthopoulos, who is also Torontos senior vice-president of baseball operations. Was that always the case, he was asked? "Very good question," Anthopoulos replied, before suggesting it was better directed at the pitchers camp. However the Jays GM did say he was told "recently" of that strong NL interest. Such hints aside, Anthopoulos was clearly looking to take the high road, "Obviously its done. He made his decision. Hes in Atlanta. Great signing for them. I wish him the best. Sorry it didnt work out with us." Certainly the NL East, home to the .sub-500 Miami Marlins, New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies last season, might seem more hospitable than the thorny AL East. Especially when Santana is eligible for free agency again after this season. Santana has spent his entire career in the American League, with eight seasons as a Los Angeles Angel before being traded to the Royals in 2013. His career record is 105-90 with a 4.19 ERA. He became a free agent after turning down a US$14.1-million qualifying one-year offer from the Royals. Its the same deal he accepted from the Braves and likely in the same ballpark as the Jays offer. Minnesota reportedly tendered a three-year offer but at a lesser annual rate. Unlike last off-season, the Jays have been quiet in player acquisitions. So the Santana snub stands front and centre. Anthopoulos said everyone in the organization wanted Santana to become a Jay. "I think we all feel we did everything we could," he added. With Josh Johnson gone and question-marks over J.A. Happ and Ricky Romero, the Jays have been looking to bolster a starting rotation that features R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Brandon Morrow. Asked about the paucity of additions, Anthopoulos instead pointed to the healthy return of players like outfielder Melky Cabrera and pitcher Drew Hutchison. "We think Drews got a chance to be outstanding and hes put himself in a great position to make this club. I think if he does make this club, hes got a chance to have a tremendous year." Anthopoulos acknowledged the questions from fans and other observers. "All that being said, I can understand skepticism that comes with the job, the performance we had on the field last year. I think we will show how good we are when we break (spring training). I think the guys that we have tremendous upside but we would have loved to add someone just to have depth." "We werent going to force a deal and do things we really didnt believe in just to make a splash," he added. The GM said the Jays were "extremely close" to landing another starting pitcher in a trade only to see it not happen. He did not provide any other details. Bottom line, he says, the Jays like their talent but know it lacks seasoning in some quarters. So the search continues for that experience. NOTES -- Happ, whose spring training progress has been delayed by back problems, threw a side session Tuesday and "everything felt good," according to manager John Gibbons. Closer Casey Janssen, who has had soreness in his shoulder, was scheduled to throw a side session Wednesday. Dustin McGowan is also back after losing eight pounds to the same stomach bug that hit fellow pitcher Sergio Santos. Wholesale Shoes From China ... as usual. Even with the salary cap being set lower than many general managers expected and hoped for at $69 million and whats considered a shallow pool of top-end players available, this unrestricted-free-agent period figures to follow the familiar script of teams bidding up prices to keep up with each other. Cheap Replica Shoes China . Unfortunately for the Cleveland Cavaliers, James Harden was in the building. http://www.wholesaleshoes.us.org/ . - The fiancee of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez is set to ask a judge to throw out allegations that she lied to a grand jury. Wholesale Shoes Brands . - A week after a late-game debacle on defence, the Pittsburgh Steelers showed they can finish. Shoes Wholesale China Market . DeGrom outpitched Jake Peavy in a tantalizing hitless duel that carried into the seventh inning Saturday night before the New York Mets broke loose and beat the San Francisco Giants 4-2.Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dear Kerry, On Thursday night in the Chicago/Detroit game, linesman Steve Barton was forced to leave the game due to an injury. I´ve got two questions regarding this situation: 1. Are there any common rules how referees and linesmen split their responsibilities after such a situation happened?2. How many referees (linesmen) is "enough" to finish the game? Is it possible to finish the game with only one referee (linesman) left? (e.g. hypothetically three referees are forced to leave the game) Looking forward to your answers. With best wishes from Slovakia,Peter Bartisek Hi Peter: Cmon Ref is pleased to receive your question from the beautiful country of Slovakia and with the International Games of the Winter Olympics soon to begin. Thank you for your concern for linesman Steve Barton when he was forced to leave the game in Chicago with an injury. Barts is an outstanding linesman and truly one of the great guys on staff. It appears he may have sustained a slight concussion from a hit to the head sustained on Monday night in Phoenix. We wish Steve a full and speedy recovery. Rule 32.6 provides general provisions when a linesman is unable to continue; "Should a Linesman appointed be unable to act at the last minute or through sickness or accident be unable to finish the game, the Referees shall have the power to appoint another in his stead, if they deem it necessary, or if required to do so by the Manager or Coach of either of the competing teams. If no replacement Linesman is available, the two Referees will assist the remaining Linesman with his duties while still retaining their ability to assess penalties when deemed appropriate." In the practical application the two Referees assist the remaining linesman with his duties. The Linesman conducts all end zone facce-offs and the lead referee (backing up in advance of the play) picks up the first offside call at the lead blue line and also will make the call on the new hybrid icing rule either by waving the play good or blowing his whistle when he determines icing has been committed.dddddddddddd The "Junior" referee conducts neutral zone face-offs. He would most likely assist the Linesman in breaking up fights as well; although it might be agreed upon that the larger of the two referees would perform this physical duty! In the event that three officials were forced to leave the game or were perhaps unable to arrive at the rink due to weather or unforeseen circumstance the authority to appoint replacements is spelled out in rule 31.11. "If, owing to illness or accident, one of the Referees is unable to continue to officiate, the remaining Referee shall perform the duties of the ill or injured Referee during the balance of the game. In the event that a member of the Leagues Hockey Operations or Officiating departments is in attendance at a game where a spare official is present, he shall have the authority to substitute the injured Referee with a spare. If through misadventure or sickness, he Referees and Linesmen appointed are prevented from appearing, the League will make every attempt to find suitable replacement officials, otherwise, the Managers or Coaches of the two Clubs shall agree on Referee(s) and Linesman(men). If they are unable to agree, they shall appoint a player from each side who shall act as Referee and Linesman; the player of the home Club acting as Referee and the player of the visiting Club as linesman." Members of the off-ice crew are typically high level amateur or minor professional hockey officials and could be appointed to act as substitute referees and linesmen if necessary. We have seen situations where this has happened in the past. Peter in Slovakia and all the rest of your fans wish you a speedy recovery Barts. ' ' '