The New York Yankees acquired left-hander J.A. Happ from Toronto on Thursday to bolster their starting rotation, a deal that sent infielder Brandon Drury and minor league outfielder Bill McKinney to the Blue Jays. The Grants Pass, Oregon, native was acquired by the Yankees from the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of a three-team trade (also Tampa Bay) on February 20, 2018. "Now it's my job to go out there and prove that (GM Ross Atkins) was right (to trade for him)".
So, which Blue Jays could be traded next?
Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the latest to report the Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves have discussed a deal for Marcus Stroman. Still, the recent surge has not been enough to grade the tool as anything more than average, which is where the rest of his tools also find themselves.
This is the type of player that fits the mould of the Blue Jays because he's ready to play in the major leagues and the team controls his future. Happ signed a three-year contract with the Blue Jays on November 30, 2015, and will be a free agent at the end of the 2018 season. In 11 starts down the stretch for the Pirates, he posted a 1.85 ERA. With two starts at 1B, four starts at 2B and eight starts at 3B, he is one of nine Yankees in the Wild Card Era to start at 1B, 2B and 3B in the same season, joining Luis Sojo (1998, 2000-01), Clay Bellinger (2000), Miguel Cairo (2006-07), Wilson Betemit (2007-08), Cody Ransom (2008-09), David Adams (2013), Mark Reynolds (2013) and Neil Walker (2018). In 46 starts in September and October, Happ is 20-12 with 3.12 ERA.
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Happ was one of the most coveted pitching trade targets for contending teams, also drawing interest from the Cubs and Brewers. He's played in two games for the Yankees and has hit 230/.294/.502 with 13 homers, eight doubles and five triples. In 50 games since, Solarte has fallen back down to earth, hitting.211/.256/.348 with six home runs to his name. However, that doesn't mean he can't be a useful piece on a playoff-bound team in a part-time capacity.
They got reliever Zach Britton from Baltimore on Tuesday and acquired starter J.A. Happ from Toronto on Thursday.
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This was Happ's second stint with the Jays, after he was traded to Toronto from the Houston Astros midway through the 2012 season and traded to the Seattle Mariners in following the 2014 season. "We felt when we returned him back to third, we could get him back in the comfort level he was and he could unlock some of the potential in the swing because there were some things we saw that we felt allowed for more in the tank in terms of production".
"Definitely not what I expected the season to be like as a Yankee", he said.
It's fair to point out that Happ isn't the ace the Yankees really covet, but it doesn't appear that pitcher is out there for a reasonable price this week.
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