Entering the offseason, it appeared left-hander J.A. Happ could be in line for a spot in the Toronto Blue Jays 2013 starting rotation. Two trades later, and Happ is fighting for a bullpen spot with Toronto. The 30-year-old told reporters, including Gregor Chisolm of MLB.com, that the process has been "very frustrating."
It was reported last month that Happ was the odd man out in Toronto. The Blue Jays acquired R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets and Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson from the Miami Marlins this offseason. They are prepared to pair that trio with Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero to form their starting rotation.
More Blue Jays: Battle for the bullpen
Happ has pitched in relief in the bigs, but even a bullpen role is not guaranteed at this point. He's pitched well this spring -- 1.93 ERA over 9 1/3 innings -- but he's competing with fellow southpaw Brett Cecil for a spot in Toronto's 'pen.
Happ knew the uphill struggle he faced entering camp, and he tried to "stay as positive" as he could. However, he told reporters he's "a major league starting pitcher," and said he'd "leave it at that for right now."
While he said he'd have to let things play out, it sounds as if Happ would welcome a trade to a team that would be able to hand him a starting role. Last season for the Blue Jays and Houston Astros, Happ maintained an ERA of 4.79 over 28 appearances, including 24 starts.