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.