Blue Jays left-handed starter J.A. Happ was claimed on revocable trade waivers and pulled back, meaning that he’ll remain in Toronto through the end of the season. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported the news on Wednesday.
Happ, who finished sixth in AL Cy Young voting after a tremendous 2016 season, has had a bit of a down year in 2017, posting a 4.10 ERA and 1.36 ERA with 108 strikeouts and 34 walks over 107.2 innings. He missed roughly six weeks near the beginning of the season with elbow inflammation. But at the very least, he’s consistently given the Blue Jays innings, throwing five or more frames in 14 of 15 starts since June 5, and he’s signed for a reasonable $13 million next season. With the lasting need for starting pitching among both contenders and teams that hope to contend next season, he apparently was too attractive of a commodity to pass through the waiver wire unclaimed.
Back in July, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that the Jays were “highly unlikely” to move Happ and that they planned to compete in 2018. Obviously, a Jays rotation with Happ in it would be much more formidable than one without him, though the Blue Jays may still have been willing to move him if they were able to bring back a massive return. Unless the Toronto front office has a change of heart during the offseason, it appears that they’ll now hang on to him for the final year of his deal.