As we’ve been expecting for quite some time, J.A. Happ has been dealt to the New York Yankees.
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
Interesting trade return for the Blue Jays. Drury profiles as more of a utility player than an everyday, to me, but there's value in that. McKinney has shown flashes of brilliance, but also moments of…the opposite of brilliance.
— Christopher Crawford (@Crawford_MILB) July 26, 2018
It appears the deal is Happ to New York in exchange for outfielder Billy McKinney and utility guy Brandon Drury.
McKinney was drafted by the Oakland Athletics 24th overall in 2013. He’s a lefty hitting outfielder who’s currently slashing a .230/.294/.502 line for New York’s Triple-A team. He was dealt from Oakland to Chicago in the Jeff Samardzija deal in 2014 and then to New York in the Aroldis Chapman deal in 2016.
Drury was originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves back in 2010. He’s known mostly for his time with the Diamondbacks in which he slashes a .271/.319/.448 line with 31 homers over 1038 plate appearances between 2016 and 2017. He plays second, third, and the corner outfield positions, giving the Jays yet another guy with a lot of positional versatility.
Thoughts on this? Mehhhhh. Neither acquisition is flashy at all, but the Jays have acquired two Major League-ready players in the deal for Happ, which is probably better than magic beans from the lower minors. Obviously we were hoping for (whether totally irrational or not) a return like Clint Fraizer or Justus Sheffield, but that was never actually going to happen. I guess we had our hopes up a little too high.
Drury is what he is at this point, which is a decent utility guy with control, but McKinney was once a highly-touted prospect who has apparently shown flashes of brilliance in the past. I think, though, the Jays are ultimately adding Major league calibre depth with this deal rather than adding a long-term, swing-for-the-fences prospect. Another thing, adding Drury opens up the Jays for a Yangervis Solarte trade in the not-so-distant future as the two players play essentially the same role. That’s something to keep an eye on as the trade deadline approaches.
The national MLB writers seem to really like this return for the Jays. Easy for us to be skeptical, especially with a (presently) crowded infield, but from a pure value standpoint this seems like a nice deal. pic.twitter.com/yV4n9GHcyX
— Ty Berry (@tberry3) July 26, 2018
Jays Twitter is mad about what they got for Happ, Yankees Twitter is mad at what hey gave up for Happ. Great time for someone like me who loves seeing people being mad online.
— db (@dlbno) July 26, 2018
Now who takes Happ’s spot in the rotation? Would the Jays simply slide relief ace Jaime Garcia back into his starter spot? Or would they dip into the minors and bring up Sean Reid-Foley or Thomas Pannone? It would be easier to recall the latter as he’s on the 40-man, but Reid-Foley has been absolutely dominating at the Triple-A level as of late.
Sean Reid-Foley, who owns a 2.95 ERA and 28.9% K rate in 20 starts between Double-A and Triple-A, is scheduled to start Friday for Buffalo. Happ had been scheduled to start Saturday in Chicago. Just saying.https://t.co/axT68v3IM2
— Jonah Birenbaum (@birenball) July 26, 2018
And finally, re-sign Happ in the off-season, Blue Jays. He’s certainly someone you want around to mentor young arms as the team rebuilds.