Blue Jays: The third time the charm for J.A. Happ?

TORONTO, ON - JULY 22: J.A. Happ #33 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the first inning during MLB game action against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on July 22, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 22: J.A. Happ #33 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the first inning during MLB game action against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on July 22, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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According to a report from SNY’s Andy Martino, the Blue Jays have inquired about a reunion with veteran left-hander J.A. Happ of the New York Yankees.

The Blue Jays said they would turn over pretty much any stone when it came to the pursuit of starting pitching upgrades, so the latest report should come as no surprise.

According to SNY’s Andy Martino, the Blue Jays have apparently asked about a reunion with J.A. Happ, who the Yankees are reportedly shopping to clear some payroll space in order to sign Gerrit Cole. It’s debatable whether or not the Blue Jays should help them accomplish that goal, but chances are they’re going to find a way to do it one way or another anyway, so perhaps there is a fit here.

The Blue Jays badly need some help in their starting rotation, and even if Happ is coming off of a disappointing 2019, he’d be an upgrade on what’s currently available to Charlie Montoyo. He made 31 starts last year and posted a 4.91 ERA and a 1.295 WHIP across 161 innings, and he’ll make 17 million in 2020 with a vesting option in ’21 attached to some achievable goals.

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Personally, I think the Blue Jays should only be interested if it means they can get the Yankees to attach a prospect as well. If that means they send some value to New York in the deal too, so be it, but I’d like to see the Blue Jays get a piece for their rebuild if they’re going to take on Happ’s salary. They have the payroll space for it regardless, but he’s probably overpaid at this stage of the game, and the Yankees are motivated to move him.

Whether or not the Blue Jays can get additional value in this sort of a trade likely depends on how the rest of baseball views Happ’s potential going forward. There are plenty of reports of other interested teams as well, so the Yankees may be able to dump the 37-year-old’s salary without having to give up much of a prospect as well, if any at all.

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There are also reports that Cole could sign sometime before the Winter Meetings are over as well, which could mean that the Yankees look to offload Happ’s salary in the next 24-48 hours. If the Blue Jays are serious about bringing Happ back to Toronto for a third time, they will likely have to make that decision soon, if it’s up to them at all. We’ll do our best to keep you updated here at Jays Journal.

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