The Toronto Blue Jays are now said to be willing to listen on their fine lefty starter J.A. Happ, according to sources, though any deal they’d make is with an eye on 2018 and Happ is under contract through next year.
It isn’t known what the likelihood of a Happ deal might be, but they don’t appear to be shopping him hard, and understandably may not be at all disappointed to carry him into next year.
The Jays have made available free-agents-to-be Marco Estrada and Francisco Liriano, who both aren’t having their best years. Both are talented pitchers with some October success in their past, so teams are considering those pitchers — though they may be fallback options to the few starters on the market.
The trade market for top starters is very thin, so Toronto may just take a look to see if someone would pay strongly. Happ had a big year last year — he finished 20-4 with a 3.18 ERA and earned a sixth-place Cy Young finish — but has missed a little time this year and is 3-8 with a 4.15 ERA. He is to make $13 million next year, the final year of a free agent deal he signed with Toronto.
The Blue Jays were defeated by the Los Angeles Angels, 6-5, on Saturday to drop to 48-56 on the season. They sit in last place in the American League East, nine games behind the New York Yankees. Toronto trails Kansas City for the second AL wild card by 7.5 games.