The Jays signed J.A. Happ to a one-year $3.7 million contract, saving themselves from an arbitration hearing with the left-hander.
Last year Happ was 3-2, with a 4.69 ERA in 10 games, 6 starts, with the Jays, after getting him in a July trade with the Astros. As an Astro he was 7-9 with a 4.83 ERA in 18 starts. In total, 56 walks and 144 strikeouts in 144.1 innings.
As we roll up to spring training, it looks likely that Happ will start the season in Buffalo, starting there, waiting for an injury to give him a shot at the majors again. Alex listed him as our 6th starter when talking to the press the other day. Since we used 12 starters last year, having depth is a good thing.
It does show how much our rotation has improved, over the winter, until the trades with the Marlins and Mets, he was sure to be part of rotation. I'd think Happ would make the rotation of most other AL teams. Of the other AL East teams, I'm sure he'd fit well in the rotations of the Yankees, Orioles and Red Sox. Maybe he wouldn't make the Rays starting five, but I'm sure they'd find a spot for him in the bullpen.
Happ wasn't thrilled to be in our bullpen, after the trade last year, I wonder how Happ-y he'd be if/when we send him down to Buffalo. That's the unfortunate thing about being one of the few guys who has options left, among those vying for a spot on the pitching staff.
Anyway, glad he's signed, I think the arbitration hearings would be a bad things for a player, have him sit there and listen while his team states the reasons why he's lousy and doesn't deserve the money he's asked for from the arbitrator.