JA is leaving the north to join the Bronx Empire.
Yankees acquiring All-Star starter J.A. Happ from Blue Jays for Brandon Drury and OF prospect Billy McKinney, per multiple reports. pic.twitter.com/US2GpwfR3J
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 26, 2018
It was known that JA Happ was going to be traded. The 35 year old will be a free agent at the end of the year, and with Toronto’s playoff hopes gone, Happ had been linked in trade rumors all season.
In his 3 years in Canada, the lefty went 40-21 with a 3.55 ERA and 3.87 FIP. His numbers have declined this year, with his ERA cracking above 4.00 for the first time since 2014. However, his 10.3 K/9 is a career high, and his 1.175 WHIP is nearly at an all time best for him. His 3.51 SIERA and 3.63 xFIP suggest he’s experienced some bad luck and should be posting moderately better numbers.
For the Yankees, Happ is likely the best starter to be traded this year, and it makes a lot of sense for them to jump all over him. Yankees starters have been in a deep slump, posting a 5.13 ERA and 1.41 WHIP since June 30th. Severino and Sabathia are both getting knocked around more than usual, Gray has been agregious, while Domingo German was sent back down to AAA.
In all honesty, it seems Toronto did a lackluster job in getting a good return for one of the most heavily pursued starters this year. Drury, a 25 year old infielder, played two decent years with the Diamondbacks, batting .275 with 29 HR in almost 1000 PA’s. While he certainly has the potential to grow into an above average player now that he’ll be getting the sufficient playing time he deserves, it’s more likely than not he’ll remain an average ball player for at least a few years.
On the other hand, Billy McKinney was the number 20 prospect for the Yankees. He’s got raw power that’s undeniable, but his ability to hit for contact is iffy. He’ll likely get his chance in the outfield for Toronto this year, but probably won’t draw too much hype when the Blue Jays have guys like Vlad jr. still in the minors.
Billy McKinney has more trades under his belt (3) than Major League games played (2).
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) July 26, 2018