In some ways the remade Toronto Blue Jays owe the visiting Chicago White Sox a debt of gratitude, since it was their exploration of trade possibilities for Jake Peavy back in October that helped set the stage for Alex Anthopoulos to pull off November’s blockbuster with the Miami Marlins.

A few weeks before that franchise-altering deal went down, the general manager was close to acquiring the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner from the South Siders, whose $22-million club option for 2013 was due to be declined in favour of a $4-million buyout.

But things fell apart Oct. 30 when the right-hander agreed to a $29-million, two-year extension with an option for 2015, according to multiple sources.

While the work put into that deal went for naught, the ownership approvals obtained by Anthopoulos and president Paul Beeston to take on $18 million over and above an initial 2013 payroll of $105 million did not. Those internal discussions fast-tracked the process and provided the basis for the approval process for the roughly $160 million in commitments through 2017 added from the Marlins.

Both Anthopoulos and White Sox counterpart Rick Hahn declined to comment on the blockbuster that wasn’t, citing club policy. But back in January, without getting into specifics, Anthopoulos mentioned that the Blue Jays “were really close to making a trade that would have impacted our 2013 payroll, it was real, real close,” in discussing the process that led to the Marlins deal.

Peavy, who wanted to stay in Chicago all along, conceded Tuesday that he “did hear rumblings from different people, but there was nothing (concrete) that I was aware of.”

“I knew the White Sox had to make decisions in a hurry, and they were open with me about that in our dialogue back and forth, and me wanting to be back and trying to work something out,” Peavy added. “I can’t say I knew exactly what was going on, but I knew there was stuff going on, and I knew it was between two teams. It wasn’t any of my business.