Blue Jays reportedly pushing Happ, Clippard in trade talks
It might be too late, but the Blue Jays are reportedly ramping up their efforts to trade J.A. Happ and Tyler Clippard ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Blue Jays have “grown more aggressive” in their efforts to try and deal J.A. Happ and Tyler Clippard. Sherman also adds that while the market may have grown crowded over the last week, the Jays are still trying to trade assets, with the two aforementioned pitchers and John Axford the most prominent.
As Sherman covers primarily the Yankees, who have appeared to be the frontrunners for Happ, this report is notable and can be taken seriously for all intents and purposes. The Yankees have also been mentioned as potential buyers for veteran relief pieces.
Brandon Duckworth, a scout for the Yankees and a former member of the Philadelphia Phillies, was in attendance to watch Happ’s dominant, yet shortened start against the Orioles on Sunday.
Sherman quotes a rival evaluator who said the following about J.A. Happ’s trade value:
"“If Happ were performing like he was four weeks ago, Toronto would get a nice return. But every team that is in on him now has to be concerned that he is trending the wrong way. If you are trading for him, you are trading hoping he reverses back to who he had been earlier this season.”"
While this is disappointing for the Blue Jays, it’s not entirely doom and gloom for this team. With one week until the non-waiver trade deadline, it’s still fully possible that the Jays get a decent return back for any of the three pieces mentioned above.
Still, it’s also fully possible that Sherman is right in his assessment that the Blue Jays were too slow in evaluating the trade market, especially for Happ.
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Generally speaking, the more a player on the trade block plays in the rumour-laden period, the more risk there is associated with a potential drop in his stock. Conversely, the same player’s stock can rise considerably if the gamble pays off for the team in question. It’s a high risk, high reward type situation – it’s exciting, yet can quickly turn sour.
Unfortunately for the Jays, it’s likely that the former is true in this case. The Blue Jays’ willingness to hold onto Happ and send him back out on the mound several more times than was perhaps necessary caused his stock to plummet since the start of the month.
As Sherman logically notes, Happ is 0-3 in July with an abysmal ERA of 7.41, not reaching the sixth inning in any of his starts this month. If the Blue Jays hope to trade Happ before the deadline arrives, they’ll either need to do it soon or receive a significantly less attractive package of prospects in return.
Next: Blue Jays: Chris Rowley claimed off waivers by Rangers
Clippard and Axford, two minor names that have appeared periodically in trade talks, have maintained their stock pretty well this month, with the latter throwing the ball particularly well since the calendar flipped.