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The Blue Jays have been linked to outfielder Ian Happ

As we approach the deadline, the Jays are starting to get linked to players.

Per a Robert Murray report, the Jays are interested in Cubs’ outfielder, Ian Happ. 

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Let’s dig into his statistics, and his contract to see if Happ would be a fit for the Blue Jays. Not just that, but we’ll look into what this means in terms of their pursuit of Juan Soto.

Statistics:

This season, the soon-to-be 28-year-old is slashing .282/.366/.446 with nine homers in 387 plate appearances. His fWAR of 2.3 and his wRC+ of 127 are already a career-high. He has a BB% of 10.9 and a K% of 21.4.

Interestingly, that K% of 21.4% is well below his career average of 29.2%, which shows that the outfielder is becoming more experienced at the plate. The switch-hitting outfielder has hit 24 homers twice in his career, once in his rookie season as well as in 2021.

Happ has better splits as a left-handed batter, as he has a .247/.348/.483 slash line in 1647 plate appearances, along with 81 home runs. As a righty, he has a .252/.327/.404 slash line with 15 homers in 553 plate appearances.

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This season, he has a .258/.352/.422 slash line with seven homers in 298 plate appearances as a lefty. As a righty, he has a .346/.407/.513 slash line with two homers in 86 plate appearances.Defensively, Happ plays left field and has posted a 4 Defensive Runs Saved and a -1 Outs Above Average. If the Jays were to trade for Happ, I could see him and Lourdes Gurriel  Jr. platooning in left field.

Contract:

Aside from being a pretty darn good player, a lot of Happ’s value comes from his team control. This season, Happ is only making $6,850,000, which barely puts a dent in the Jays’ payroll.

Next season will be Happ’s final season of arbitration, and it’s hard to see the outfielder making more than $10,000,000 in 2023.

What does this mean for the Jays and Soto:

Since the Jays are looking into Happ, what does it mean to their pursuit of Juan Soto? Well, the Jays haven’t really been linked to the 23-year-old phenom. While it’d obviously be nice to acquire the best hitter in baseball, the cost for the outfielder would be far too high.

I’d argue Happ would cost a few prospects, while Soto would cost a bunch of top prospects and at least one of Alejandro Kirk, Bo Bichette, or Alek Manoah. Realistically, the St. Louis Cardinals could put a better package together. 

What to make of this rumour:

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know I don’t think the Jays’ target should be Juan Soto. As good as he is, the cost would ruin the structure that the front office has built. 

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Not just that, but I don’t think one player truly impacts the game of baseball that much. Look no further than the Angels.

It’d be wiser to use the prospect capital to fill multiple holes, which includes a very good hitter in Happ. If the Jays trade for him, they could also focus on trading for one of Luis Castillo, Frankie Montas, Pablo Lopez, or Tarik Skubal.

Either way, keep Blue Jays Nation bookmarked, as we’ll be covering every single trade before the August 2nd deadline. Furthermore, there are about five more “Meet the Sellers”, so stay tuned!

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. I was reading one of my articles dating from late February where I said that I’ve almost reached 300 followers. Fast forward five months, and I’m just about to break 1,300. Thanks for everything!


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