Blue Jays: Clint Frazier available, Yanks still in on J.A. Happ
While the New York Yankees seemed to have been a tad quiet on the trade front, some recent details have surfaced which make them more interesting in potential trade talks.
According to Sung Min Kim of the Washington Post and Fangraphs, the New York Yankees are attempting to improve their starting pitching via trades. Kim also notes that while the Yankees are “pushing” outfield prospect Clint Frazier, interested teams seem more attracted by their pitching prospects.
Even though it’s not explicitly mentioned in the tweet, one can assume that the pitching prospects in question include southpaw Justus Sheffield (2018: 2.44 ERA, 85.0 IP, 95 K in AAA/AA), Chance Adams (2018: 4.89 ERA, 84.2 IP, 87 K in AAA) and Domingo Acevedo (2018: 2.84 ERA, 50.2 IP, 40 K in AA).
Additionally, Andy Martino of SportsNet New York reports that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has been in talks with teams to acquire a starter, with J.A. Happ being one of the names mentioned. Martino says that the Yankees are partial to Happ, and could very well pull the trigger on a deal should his price tag become more reasonable and attainable for them at the moment.
There’s a lot to unpack here. While it’s not surprising that the Yankees have re-engaged in talks to acquire Happ, it’s interesting to note that they now have renewed interest. On top of that, the fact that Yankees are allegedly “pushing” Clint Frazier is shocking to say the very least.
Frazier, 23, was a first-round pick of the Cleveland Indians and was dealt to New York in the Andrew Miller trade. A speedy outfielder, Frazier was ranked as the baseball’s No. 16 prospect entering the 2017 season. The fact that teams aren’t jumping at the chance to net him is peculiar on its own.
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Still, many Jays fans have longed to recruit Frazier ever since his first stint in the bigs. To many, a one-for-one deal involving Happ and Frazier seemed like an exaggerated ask for the All-Star southpaw. If these reports are true, it could greatly simplify the Happ dilemma and ensure that a potential deal would be beneficial for both sides, and efficiently rapid in its conception.
As Martino writes, the Yanks were seriously interested in trading for Manny Machado prior to his acquisition by the Dodgers, so they could make a knee-jerk trade to rebound from a missed opportunity. While Happ can hardly be compared to Machado, they’ve both been linked to the Yankees numerous times.
At this point, it’s nearly impossible to predict whether or not the Yankees will continue their pursuit of the Blue Jays’ only American League All-Star. While speculation is sure to continue to run rampant, more concrete rumours should surface over the next few days or so, as many Blue Jays sources have reported Ross Atkins’ willingness to part with Happ at or before the deadline.
Next: Blue Jays: Comparing the DeRozan trade to Bautista’s departure
For the season, Happ has pitched to a 4.29 ERA in 109.0 innings of work, striking out 121 and walking 35.