After reportedly pushing harder to move starting pitcher J.A. Happ, it appears the Toronto Blue Jays have now found their match.
The Blue Jays are reportedly closing in on a deal to send Happ to the New York Yankees. While the deal isn’t complete, both sides are reportedly finalizing the deal.
yanks are close to a deal for j.a. happ. finalizing. @Joelsherman1 on it.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 26, 2018
The veteran southpaw, an impending free agent this offseason, has been fairly sharp this season for the Blue Jays. In 20 starts, Happ has recorded a 4.18 ERA, .229 batting average allowed and struck out 130 batters in 114 innings.
He should provide a solid arm in the middle of the rotation for the Yankees, who were under significant pressure to add a starter at the deadline. In the past two seasons, he combined for a sub-3.5 ERA and he entered July with a 3.62 ERA. So there is room for optimism about potential improvements statistically.
Even more importantly for New York, he does have experience pitching in the postseason. During Toronto’s playoff run in 2016, Happ allowed just three runs in two starts. As a result, he could become an option if New York Makes it a seven-game series.
Toronto is certainly happy to land something for him given he was likely to depart in free agency, which would have left the team without any compensation in return for him.
According to Joel Sherman of MLB Network, the return for the Blue Jays is centered around infielder Brandon Drury. New York acquired him in the offseason with hopes he could contribute regularly, but the emergence of Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres led to lost at-bats.
I hear that if the deal gets done — and it is not in physicals yet from what I understand, so still some distance to cross — Brandon Drury would be key piece going to #Bluejays from #Yankees for Happ. But not done yet.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 26, 2018
In Toronto, the 25-year-old should contribute right away. He could start at third base until Josh Donaldson returns from the disabled list or start at second base over Devon Travis.
Before the 2018 season, Drury was successful during his time with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Across the 2016 and ’17 seasons, he slashed .275/.323/.453 with 29 home runs, 116 RBI and a .775 OPS in 269 games.
It is not known at this time if the Blue Jays are receiving additional pieces from New York or what the players would be.