Photo Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA Today Sports

Making sense of the return in the Happ trade

I’m not sure what Jays fans expected to get for JA Happ, but many fans are not too happy at all about this Happ trade – and the damn dumb pun is not intended.

It was fun to stare down the Clint Frazier pipedream to nowhere land. And it was even more fun to inject Justus Sheffield thoughts into our galaxy veins, too. But, some of us realistically knew that the Yankees weren’t going to part with either of these prospects, right?

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I mean, it’s crystally clear that fans always overvalue their own team’s players at this time of the year and some Jays fans have done that with Happ. Even though if you really look at what the Jays got in return for the steady-as-she-goes pitcher, it’s not too bad at all. It’s actually pretty good.

The truth is, I understand the underwhelmed head-scratching that went on when the details of the trade were as fresh as that smell I used to love from Silverstein’s Bakery on McCaul St.– sorry for the local Toronto reference. I really miss walking in there, a bit hungover, and buying a warm fresh loaf of marble rye. Anyway…

So, back to this Happ stuff, it seems to me from perusing different Yankees and Jays Twitter threads that a majority of fans from both sides are feeling upset with Thursday’s transaction. Maybe just as upset as I was when Silverstein’s Bakery closed it’s doors. Yankees fans wanted Jacob deGrom or Madison Bumgarner, not JA Happ.

Many dumb Yankees fans are hootin’ and hollerin’ about Happ going 0-3 with a 7.41 ERA in four July starts. Ignoring the fact that he is a Red Sox murdering savage. And, ya know, is really good and has a 3.63 xFIP – so big sarcastic thumbs up to dumb Yankees fans. This clever bunch of pinstripe whatevers are probably the same people who booed Giancarlo Stanton in April – so there’s that.

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So when news broke about who was actually heading back in this epic all-summer-long-Happ-trade talk, some Jays fans were real pissed off – as some fickle fans always are. Fickling away in their fickle ways.

It was the same ol’ Fire Shapiro and Atkins into the shatkins sun kind of stuff mixed with some Brandon Drury huhs and Billy McKinney sighs. There was a loud millennial meh that stretched across the terrific land of Twitter and Reddit and all the other wonderful Internet armpits. God bless the Internet and it’s First World retweeting ways.

Here’s a Blue Jays beat tweet that is full of some real fickly fun:

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What I think I love about this damn log to the mother effing infield jam is the unclear puzzle that we get to sit back and sip our wine to as it gets put together. I really don’t see how this is such a bad thing at all. It’s actually kind of fun during these shitty boring Blue Jays days, no?

The Jays obtained an MLB ready third baseman and utility player in Drury, who isn’t some prospect that could turn down Daniel Norris lane. Oh yeah, plus they picked up a potential power-hitting fourth outfielder, too – as you all know by now. And I don’t need to get into all the stats and stuff about Drury-Billy because Cam has already done that.

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And what’s some cool AF shit is that there are so many more future Jays trades just up the Oh-Happ street and around the corner. There are so many fun conversations that you can have at your local dive bar that will go beyond all the Jays yawns of late. We have been sipping the bottle of Vlad all season and now we get to sip from the bottle of unclear puzzle and wait. I like unclear puzzles.

The Jays are in a position to trade players like Travis and Solarte. They are going to move more bullpen arms because moving bullpen arms is always a good idea. They are going to keep doing their future thing. So, who knows what the hell they have up their summer and offseason sleeves?

The Jays front office isn’t going to strip this thing down to Baltimore levels. There is no reason to think that there will be a full on rebuild and the future of fun isn’t too far away. The Jays are going to continue to do trade things. But, whatever they do, just keep that good ol’ realistic baseball thinking cap on through it all and just fucking enjoy it.

    • Ryan Di Francesco

      Stroman is the one piece that can get some real prospect-y pitching back through a trade. But, then the team is giving up a pretty damn good MLB pitcher for top prospect pitchers. What’s better? It will be interesting to see what they do with Stroman and Sanchez moving forward.

  • Dexxter

    What I find interesting about this is the floor of the players they received and the proximity to the big league club.

    Surely they could have landed higher risk higher reward prospects a bit further from the majors if they wanted…. but obviously chose to go lower risk lower reward and closer to MLB ready. That tells me they’re planning for a quick turnaround to contention.

  • Oz Rob

    I see where you’re coming from here. When they closed my favourite pizza joint ‘Old Castille’ and I realised I would never have another ‘Bondi Mexican’ pizza I felt desolate. Still do. It is fun following all this trade angst stuff though, that’s what makes a boring season at least somewhat interesting. Let’s see what Happ does the rest of the year. If he does great, the Front Office will be vilified for being even more useless than they already are, if he sucks, they’ll have dodged a bullet and they’ll look ok…but people will still shit on them. Meanwhile…you gotta wonder when they’re going to try and get some pitching prospects. Perhaps they are going to rely on trades and free agency to get pitching when DH Vlad Jr finally turns thing around for us.

    • GrumblePup

      How Happ does the rest of the year is completely immaterial.
      If he plays well, nothing changes for Toronto. The Jays weren’t going to make the playoffs no matter what. Even if Happ doesn’t give up a single run for the rest of the year, the Jays aren’t making the playoffs.

      If Happ’s arm falls off and becomes the worst pitcher in the league for the rest of the season, they Jays didn’t “dodge a bullet”. They still weren’t going to make the playoffs.

      Happ’s contract is up at the end of this season. If he pitches poorly, we won’t resign him. No matter if he played for the Jays or the Yankees.

      If he plays well, we’ll try to resign him. No matter if he played for the Jays or the Yankees.

      What’s better? Lose Happ to free agency and get nothing? Resign Happ in free agency but get nothing. Lose Happ to free agency but get 2 players out of the deal? or Resign Happ in free agency AND add 2 players out of the deal?

      On the other hand, if you’re complaining that the Jays didn’t get pitching prospects out of the trade, well then it’s insane to vilify the Front Office for that seeing as how, this isn’t a fantasy league and you can’t trade for players that the other organizations aren’t willing to part with.

  • Steve-O

    It’s a fine return. Those complaining about not getting low-A level high-upside lottery tickets need to remember what usually happens when you buy a lottery ticket.

    And we need to be honest, while it was fun to think about a Frazier or Sheffield was never in the cards.

  • Matty

    Solarte’s value is up and Drury’s is down. They’ll likely want to trade Solarte and hope Drury builds value so the can deal him next deadline.

    Trading mediocre players when there value is up is never a bad idea

    • Oz Rob

      Everyone keeps saying that Solarte’s value is up. But is it really? His OPS is almost less than .700. I think other teams can see the reality. He was a nice story early on, but we wouldn’t get much for him at all.

      • The Humungus

        His value is up because he’s put in yet another season of being Yangervis Solarte, which, given his contract, makes him someone good teams want on their bench. He’s a known commodity and you can rely on him to do Yangervis Solarte things with regularity.

        • AD

          Solarte won’t get you that much though. Mayyybe a coulple top 20 prospects from another team at best. Look at what the jays gave up for him. His value hasn’t increased since then

          • The Humungus

            Right, but a top 20 prospect is relative. McKinney was the Yanks #20, but he’s the Jays #18.

            It’s about having quantity, since even you have acknowledged that not all prospects hit

  • Matty

    “Trust me, when that kid was 5, he looked like he was 12,” says Dawn D’Agostino, who was producing Angels telecasts then and now does the same for the Baltimore Orioles.

    “It was such a beautiful moment. I didn’t know the cousins very well, I had met [Vladimir’s] mom, I was doing something by the dugout and here comes Vladimir Jr., like a tree trunk. It was hilarious. He was like a bear.

    “Vlad starts throwing, and he starts hitting. … Then he runs over to the first couple of seats in the stands where some of the family was, grabs a couple of bottles of milk, lays back on the seat like it’s a lounge chair, guzzles the milk, puts the bottles back in the bag, runs back onto the field and starts hitting again.

    “He was smiling just like his dad. It was the most hilarious moment. Everyone was laughing and having the most wonderful time. That is what I think Vlad’s life was like. I’m sure there were conflicts and hard times, but it was like a wonderful old movie. I wish someone had been there to paint a picture. I almost wanted to cry, it was such a nice moment. Blue skies. Green grass. Nothing else existed around them.”

  • Nice Guy Eddie


    First of all, today marks the one-year mark that Tulo has been on the DL! He went on the DL on July 28, 2017 and hasn’t come off. That’s $20 million for one year on the DL and Tulo’s thinking he’s maybe set a record. He wants to thank all the L’il Ninjas for their support for his last year on the DL and Tulo’s offering a special deal! In gratitude for the L’il Ninjas continuing support while he collects his $20 million from the Blue Jays for being on the 60-day DL, Tulo is offering new jerseys with the number ’60’, instead of his old number ’02’, for a special discount price!! Just enter the code “AA Replica Mini-deal” at http://www.welcomesuckers.com, and pay $20 per year for 5 years, plus $60 dollars one-time, and the L’il Ninjas can get the One Year Anniversary 60 Day DL #60 Jersey!!! Be just like Alex L’il Ninjas and get your Anniversary Tulo Jersey!!!

    Also, Tulo’s now hitting off a tee! 18 of them exactly, as he plays golf everyday with his sweet new clubs thanks to the cool $20 million a year he pulls in from the Blue Jays.

    So don’t miss out Ninjas. Other fans may scoff at Toronto paying $20 million a year to a guy who doesn’t play baseball anymore, but Alex is/was Canadian so Tulo knows his Toronto fans appreciate Alex bringing him to Toronto where his boating and golfing skills are appreciated!!

    Clap-clap, clap-clap-clap TULO!!!

  • AD

    Drury is intriguing I guess. Mckinney is a 4th Of prospect at best. i disnt want a low A lottery ticket for happ. Wanted a AA or higher top 10 and top 20 prospect from another team. I think that would have been a fair return.