J.A. Happ can’t seem to get away from trade speculation. This time, two new teams have joined the sweepstakes for the lefty’s services.
Even though J.A. Happ says he wants the next week to be over in a hurry, I have to think that he’s having at least a little bit of fun being the subject of numerous articles and columns, the majority of them praising his pitching abilities and composure on the mound.
With that being said, the list of teams that have reported interest in Happ seems to be growing almost by the day, with Bob Elliott of the Canadian Baseball Network reporting that the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees all had scouts in attendance to see Happ’s start Sunday in Toronto.
To the satisfaction of many Blue Jays fans, the man in question was dominant on the hill. Although it was against the rather pathetic Baltimore Orioles, Happ went five strong innings, allowing one earned run on four hits, striking out nine and not walking a batter. All in all, a pretty good day to have scouts in attendance.
First off, it’s no surprise at all that the Yankees are continuing to scout Happ, as they’ve been continuously involved in several rumours and have long been reported to have a legitimate interest in the lanky lefty.
The Dodgers and the Red Sox, however, are two completely new names entirely. Both genuine playoff contenders, the Sox, and Dodgers have never before been linked to Happ. While there’s not much to go on here, it’s undoubtedly interesting that even this late in the game, some new horses are entering the race.
Boston, who became the first team to reach 70 wins Sunday, could always use starting pitching, seeing as rotation staples David Price and Rick Porcello have been inconsistent thus far. The Dodgers, excelling in their own right, could also benefit from some extra arms.
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With that, the two aforementioned teams join the long list of clubs with at least some level of reported interest in Happ. To date, we’ve seen rumours connecting Happ to the Phillies, the Cubs, the Yankees, the Mariners and the Brewers, with the Yankees and Brewers appearing to be the most likely landing spots for the native of Peru, Illinois.
After all this, it’s still too early to make an educated guess as to where Happ will end up. On the season, he’s pitched to a 4.18 ERA in 114.0 total innings, striking out 130 and boasting a record of 10-6. With a WHIP of 1.18, he’s been worth 0.6 WAR.
Regardless of how much truth there are to these rumours, it definitely puts the Jays in an interestingly advantageous position. With more teams allegedly joining the hunt for Happ, the asking price could quickly grow realistically larger, much to the delight of many of the Blue Jays faithful. Happ’s next start, should he have another as a Blue Jay, will come on Saturday, July 28th in Chicago against the White Sox.