Blue Jays: Bounty Hunting for J.A. Happ
With the Toronto Blue Jays’ hopes pretty much gone this season, J.A. Happ has become a hot commodity in baseball with teams wanting a good left-handed starter.
Jon Morosi came out recently with information saying the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners are looking into trading for J.A. Happ.
With that in mind, why don’t we look at what each team has to offer for the Blue Jays and how trading Happ could benefit the team.
When looking at Seattle, they’re a pretty complete team. They have a 46-26 record but are still second in their division. That is only because they are in the same division as the Houston Astros.
Their pitching staff is pretty good with three left-handed pitchers in their rotation. Why would they need another one in J.A. Happ? I really couldn’t tell you. My best guess is that you really never have enough left-handers in your line-up.
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So what does Seattle have to offer? Not much. In terms of getting someone back to replace Happ, they could target Mike Leake or Marco Gonzales. Both are ok pitchers for the team. Ideally, Toronto would go for Gonzales who is a 26-year-old left-hander just starting to figure things out. His statistics are improving and would be a good rotation arm for years to come.
In terms of prospects, Seattle doesn’t have much to offer the Jays. They only have one player in the top-100 rankings and he’s at number 60. Kyle Lewis is an outfielder and right now he is hitting a slash line of .277/.320/.446 for Seattle’s A+ team.
Seattle also has some good relievers in their system. Art Warren is the #8 prospect in the Mariners system and is producing pretty well in Double-A ball. Through 10 appearances he has a 2.45 ERA and could really be a great future bullpen arm.
Mariners give up for Happ: LHP Marco Gonzales, RHP Art Warren.
New York Yankees
The Yankees will have to give up a bit more for the right to get to J.A. Happ. When you’re trading with division rivals you have a hard time not giving up a bit more than the average team.
The Yankees rotation is weak and lacking in the left-handed department. The Blue Jays will recognize this and jump on it. Many teams will do pretty much anything to get a ring, and as much as it pains me to say it, the Yankees aren’t far from contending for a championship.
Toronto should take advantage of this opportunity. New York has a reputation for being big spenders and Toronto will recognize that. So what do the Yankees have to offer? Plenty and plenty of prospects.
The first one that comes to mind is left-handed pitching prospect, Justus Sheffield. By New York’s standard, he is pretty untouchable so don’t get your hopes up.
Looking at the rest of prospects, New York has multiple pitching prospects. In fact, that’s what most of their system is made up of. Luis Medina is a hard-throwing, right-handed pitcher. With a fastball that reaches 100 mph, he lands as their #5 overall prospect.
Jonathan Loaisiga is their #12 prospect overall and is having a good year so far. Pitching having an average ERA of 3.00 over a couple of levels.
The last one the Blue Jays should be looking at would be Domingo Acevedo. He’s #7 in the Yankees system and is pitching a 3.42 ERA, as well as a 1.14 WHIP on the year in Double-A.
Yankees give up for Happ: RHP Luis Medina, RHP Jonathan Loaisiga, RHP Domingo Acevedo
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I know I’m targeting pretty well only pitching but that is what the Blue Jays system needs. Toronto will have a good outfield and infield for the foreseeable future but their pitching all around is weak. Happ will be a good way to get a lot of that back.