Heyman | JA Happ claimed and pulled back from waivers

TORONTO, ON - MAY 30: Toronto Blue Jays Starting pitcher J.A. Happ (33) pitches during the regular season MLB game between the Cincinnati Reds and Toronto Blue Jays on May 30, 2017 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON.(Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire)
(Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire)

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ was claimed, and blocked, on waivers and won’t be dealt by Thursday’s deadline, sources tell FanRag Sports.

Happ could have helped a contender, but the Jays won’t have a chance to deal him now. Some figure there was an outside chance he could get through waivers thanks to a $13 million salary next year, but the need for viable starters is just too great, especially left-handers.

“No good lefty was going to get through,” one rival GM said. “And Happ fits that.”

Happ is only 6-10 with a 4.10 ERA and missed some time earlier with injuries, but he’s been pitching well since his return. Since missing nearly six weeks from mid-April to late-May, Happ is 6-7 with a 4.03 ERA. On the season, he’s posted a 1.356 WHIP to go with the 4.10 ERA. He’s striking out nine batters per nine innings while walking 2.8. He’s also just a year removed from a 3.18 ERA and sixth-place AL Cy Young finish, the best of his career. 

His rotation mate Marco Estrada, who isn’t having a great season (6-8, 5.04 ERA, 1.424 WHIP), was claimed and blocked by the New York Yankees, despite a $15.45 million salary this year. So the Jays have been frustrated by the process. 

The Blue Jays have disappointed in 2016. Following back-to-back ALCS appearances in 2015 and ’16 and 182 wins over those two seasons, Toronto enters play on Aug. 30 with just a 61-71 record, 7.5 games out of a playoff spot and with eight AL teams ahead of them in the wild card standings.

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