Happ had a great stay with Pittsburgh, but the Jays are betting that those good times continue
Now I know the MLB is out of touch with reality in reading this morning's sports updates. The news across the wire is that the Blue Jay signed J.A. Happ, a Phillies ex-pitcher and now career journeyman, for $36M for three years.
The last time I checked, $36 million dollars was a whole lot of money, but according to the MLB contract world, now all you have to be is a mediocre to below average pitcher to get that kind of money. Basically, if you have an arm attached and you can still throw a baseball, you're in for a very great payday.
Happ burst onto the MLB scene back in 2007, well, he got his foot wet anyway with a 4-inning start in which the 24 year old have up 4 runs on 7 hits and 5 strikeouts. In 2008, Happ played in 8 games for the Phillies. He started 4 games for the Phils, and picked up his first win of his career, The next season, Happ showed a lot of promise. As a 26 year old, Happ was a full member of the starting rotation, making 23 starts. Happ finished up at 12-4 on the year, with 2 shutouts. He did so well, he finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting.
That's sort of the pinnacle of Happ's career at this point in time, the Phillies loaded up on multi-million dollar pitching in 2010 and traded Happ off to Houston with other players for Roy Oswalt.
Happ's tenure with Houston wasn't too good, that promise that he showed with the Phillies all but disappeared. In three seasons with the Astros, which were a bad team of course, J.A. finished up his Astros stay with an 18-28 record with a 4.84 ERA
He then was traded off to Toronto on July 20, 2012, he worked primarily as a reliever for the Jays until the opportunity arose for him to get back as a starter. In 2013, for the Jays, Happ was hit in the head with a line drive in a game with the Tampa Bay Rays. Happ remained on the ground for 11 minutes on the mound in a very scary moment for him.
Happ's three year stay in Toronto resulted in a 19-20 record and a , and he was traded to the Seattle Mariners, for a very brief stay on one year, then the Mariners traded Happ off to Pittsburgh for their playoff run last year. Happ's stay with Pittsburgh was epic, he went 7-2 with a 1.85 ERA with the team. Is it just a fluke or is it that no one had faced Happ in years in the National League and he was 'new' to the NL this time around?
Whatever the case, the Jays feel that maybe Happ has found some sort of elixir that makes him rejuvenated from the time he had already spent with them.