Canadian Soccer News has learned that Toronto FC paid a transfer fee of $500,000 for Joao Plata.
Information obtained from a well placed staff member suggested that the transfer fee was per-determined prior to Plata going on loan with MLS in 2011 and that all clubs were aware of the fee when he was available to be drafted. It's likely that the fee is what allowed Plata to drop to the third round of the SuperDraft.
CSN was told that Paul Mariner and Aron Winter were unaware of the fee when they drafted Plata.
Generally, transfer fees are either paid down through allocation money, or the fee is distributed over a player's entire contract. In the latter's case, Plata's cap hit would be higher than his actual salary throughout his time in Toronto.
Regardless, it would appear that the signing of Plata has further handcuffed Toronto's ability to sign more players in 2012. There is some indication that the signing of Geovanny Caicedo would have helped to reduce that fee but that has yet to be confirmed.
CSN will have more on this story and its inner workings in the days ahead