The deal is done!
The Yankees have acquired LHP J.A. Happ from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for INF Brandon Drury and OF Billy McKinney.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 26, 2018
After former Mets GM Steve Phillips first reported the irons were hot Wednesday night, a flurry of insider information on Thursday has backed up his proposition.
According to MLB insiders, the Yankees are finalizing a trade to acquire lefty starter JA Happ from the division-rival Toronto Blue Jays.
No return has been announced for Happ quite yet, but if the Blue Jays are dealing within their own division, then the Yankees will almost certainly be giving up a quality prospect or two to make the deal happen. It's believed Brandon Drury, a displaced infielder, is likely a part of this deal, as is Triple-A outfielder Billy McKinney, who wrecked his shoulder earlier in 2018 at Rogers Centre as a Yankee.
Source: Yankees sending Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney to Jays in the trade for J.A. Happ. Congressman @JonHeyman was first to report them as potential return.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 26, 2018
Although he was a bit of a curious selection, Happ made his first All-Star team in 2018. In 20 games, Happ has gone 10-6 with a 4.18 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, striking out 130 batters in 114 innings of work.
The Yankees were one of three teams who had scouts in attendance at Rogers Centre for what was likely Happ's last start as a Blue Jay. He gave up one run on four hits over five innings, striking out nine.
Starting pitching has been seen as the Yankees' biggest weakness so far in 2018. Behind Luis Severino and CC Sabathia, the rest of the rotation has been one big question mark. Jordan Montgomery is out for the year due to injury, while Masahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray have been inconsistent at best.
Go get JA Happ. He’s probably one of the best/most affordable options right now. Maybe a few others, but I’d rather have him over Shields.— Alex Patt (@chifanpatt1) July 25, 2018
Happ is by no means an ace. The 35-year-old veteran probably is not even a number two starter, but for a team lacking starting pitching depth, they will undoubtedly be better off having his arm as an option come October.