Blue Jays Sign J.A. Happ to Three-Year Deal

The Toronto Blue Jays have announced that they signed left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ to a three-year contract worth $36M. He pitched in Toronto from 2012 until 2014, posting a 4.39 ERA in 291 innings during his time there. The 33-year-old Happ had a 1.85 ERA in 11 starts with the Pirates after being acquired from the Seattle Mariners at the trading deadline for Adrian Sampson. He had a 4.64 ERA in 108.1 innings with the Mariners, so the changes implemented by the Pirates really paid off for him on the free agent market.

There was a mutual interest between Happ and the Pirates to have him return to Pittsburgh, but the contract he signed was nearly equal to what the Pirates paid Francisco Liriano last off-season for three years.

  • Do you know who also doesnt cost picks to sign? Price, Cueto and Kazmir. While the first 2 probably wont be in Pirate uniforms this year Kazmir could. Him and either Fister or Lincecum could round out the rotation nicely, move Locke to pen for 2nd Lefty and we would be fine i think.

    Also if they trade Melancon or Walker it possible to get a good young SP in return.

  • The same people who are upset the Pirates didn’t pay for Happ are the one’s who were upset he was acquired in the first place.

    And now they’re convinced the Pirates are going to go into next season w Morton and Locke as the #3&4 SP’s in the rotation.

    Maybe I’m Pollyana, but I’m going to trust this FO to do what’s in the best interest of the franchise. And just like last year when they let Toronto sign a prized FA (Martin) and replaced him w someone just as good, I have faith they will find a strong replacement for Happ, too.

  • I’m surprised that Happ got the 3rd year, it still seems like a significant amount of money for a pitcher who won’t get through the sixth inning.

    If nothing else is shows draft picks have significant value because Happ isn’t Liriano.

    • can not be surprised Toronto gave 3rd year. They overpaid for Martin and traded for Tulo. Heard on MLB radio that Blue Jays have more resources than most teams in baseball.

    • Truly incredible. Amazing what this says about the league’s trust in Searage.

      New front office, of course, but Toronto came into 2015 short on pitching and *still* thought so little of Happ that they sent him to Seattle for an outfielder. Happ was almost certainly a one year deal guy battling for a rotation spot before those two months with Searage.

  • Wouldn’t it be nice just once for the Pirates to actually go out and land a higher priced FA starter? Doesn’t have to be Price, Greinke,Zimmerman ,or Cueto but a guy like Samardzija. Who has as much talent as any but has never fully reached his potential? I have to think working with Searage there would be a better chance of him reaching that level than anywhere else. The Pirates could get a possible TOR starter for around 5 year 80 million. It would be by far the largest contract they have given out but it’s not a contract they would necessarily have to live with for the entirety of the deal. It is a very trade-able contract . You put him in the #2 spot in your rotation with Liriano as your #3 and you add Glasnow and Taillon to the 4 and 5 spots by mid season and you have one of the best rotations in baseball. Liriano comes off the books after 2017 and it opens up money to extend our young starters, We need a stronger rotations while we transition from losing Walker/Alvarez offensive numbers while guys like Hansen and Bell transition into productive ML starters

    • Love it or hate it, the Pirates have been successful finding SP without being stuck with large multi-year deals. SP is so volatile, and in my opinion, and apparently the Pirates, too, it’s too risky to put that many eggs in one basket.

      Injury and/or performance decline is all too common in SP for a small market team to get stuck w an albatross of a contract.

  • I was against not signing Volquez. Not signing him cost us the division. I was not of the mindset that we absolutely needed to re-sign J.A Happ but seeing the dollar amount he got I am very worried. He’s basically set the market for the 2nd and 3rd tier starting pitchers and I know there’s no chance in heck we pay for something more valuable than Happ. By the sounds of it we’re losing a boat load of offense(Alvarez is as good as gone and they aren’t going to let Walker play out this season and lose him for nothing except maybe a draft pick. Plus we are losing Happ and Burnett’s production in the rotation.) Taillon ,Glasnow,and Bell are close but you cannot expect 3 rookie’s to make up for all this production in 2016 especially since you won’t see them until June at the earliest It’s still early but you know they are not going to commit a lot of money to guys at positions they have top prospects for and they aren’t going to sign anyone more expensive then Happ. That would be too much of a commitment for them. SO we lose (Alvarez,Walker,Happ,Burnett,and Melancon ) and sign a couple reclamation projects and cross our fingers and hope for the best? 2016 could get real ugly if they don’t figure something out.

    • Chris: “SO we lose (Avarez, Walker,…and Melancon)……” Not quite accurate. We don’t simply “lose” these three.

      In reality, we trade those three. Arguably, we ought to get back younger players with higher upside than those three. The variable is this “up side”. This F/O has a track record of evaluating talent. I trust they know what they are doing.

      From these trades we ought to have an upgrade over Pedro at 1st and Walker’s defense at 2nd. I feel we’ll be just as competitive with Hansen, Harrison, Kang, Mercer and the upgrade at 1st.

      Also, in the return for these guys, we may receive a pitcher with the upside of a #3. Per: Morton and Locke, we may see Glasnow and another from Indy in early summer.

    • The Cardinals winning 100 games cost Pirates the division. Our FO put together a roster that won 10 more games than previous year. They did their part.

      • and yet STL built a stronger rotation. They didn’t settle for the likes of Morton and Locke at te back end of their rotation. If we had comitted 2 years 20 million to Volquez we would have won the division and had a very solid #3 starter for 2016. they almost always get it right with pitchers but they got it wrong on this one

        • They won 98 games. 9 out of 10 years, 98 wins will win division. The fact is this was one year it didn’t. It was bad luck more than bad management by a long shot.

  • I don’t understand the logic in paying big years and big dollars for a starting pitcher this year.
    As there are a whole lot of good free agent starters available, maybe the best crop ever.

    Just wait it out like we did for Liriano, the prices will come down, and we should end up with a good one given our scout’s and coach’s proven ability to get the right guy and Coach him up.

    • No offense, but you guys are fooling yourselves. The only two examples of “prices falling” cited here juuust so happened to both be QO guys. Which obviously the Pirates will not be pursuing.

      There’s no such thing as too much pitching.

      • You don’t see any Ervin Santana’s in this class? I suspect there will be at least a couple.

        • Sure, out of Chen, Gallardo, Iwakuma, Kennedy, Lackey, and Samardzija I could certainly see one of them fall to a late bidder.

          But that means absolutely nothing to the Pittsburgh Pirates, since giving up their first round pick to sign one of those QO pitchers is beyond a pipe dream (for good reason).

  • Disappointed that the Pirates allowed Happ to walk, even for the ridiculous amount of money Toronto paid out! Hope the Pirates aren’t stuck on permanent “cheap” with Bob Nutting, forcing more reclamation projects. Things might get a bit more sticky with Jim Benedict gone?

    Right now we have maybe two pitchers to depend on for starts and nothing else for sure? Huntington better have a plan to acquire some real starting pitching talent, reclamation or otherwise to contend with this otherwise great team next year!

  • I think Matt Moore would be a good option. He came back last year (probably a bit too soon) from TJ and was hit hard and sent down. He came back up and started to look like the Old Matt Moore.

    His contract is fairly team friendly;

    16:$5M, 17:$7M club option ($2.5M buyout), 18:$9M club option ($1M buyout), 19:$10M club option ($0.75M buyout)
    I would guess the Bucs would have to take back a contract (Loney 16:$8m). The Rays need power (Pedro) and I’m sure they would also need someone else coming back that is young and cheap.

    • His FIP and xFIP still sat in the 4s during that late season not terrible run.

      The stuff is not terrible but the velo loss makes him a different guy. Not sitting 94 with the FB, meaning he’s gotta get far more creative while sitting 92.

      • It was still his first yea back from TJ so I think you’ll see an uptick with the velo. His command was not good when he first came back but improved over time and after his stint in Durham.
        Jake McGee would be a nice fit as well. If I’m the Rays I’m looking at Taillon & Diaz.

        • His velo not being back after a full rehab+63 ML innings worries me. Velo isnt 100% something that takes time to show up, its control that may take time.

          I worry he lost a mph or two in the injury, and thats tough. Still a guy id look into, he’s not throwing 90 or anything. But i wouldnt pay a ton. Id trade Pedro for Loney though if it meant Moore. And i really dislike Loney.

          • Would you do Loney for Pedro straight up?

            • Crap for crap doesnt really make me wanna move. Both are marginal type 1Bmen, so id rather roll with Pedro. Mostly because it saves time and effort.

    • I like it . If uncle Ray can get him straightened out you have a potential #2 starter .Tampa would be willing to deal for some prospects i’m sure. It’s just a matter of what NH would be willing to give up.

    • Smart.

  • 12 million per….Ouch. I would not pay that. There are better options out there in my opinion.

  • I’m surprised about some of the angst over this . This guy pitched at a sub 2 ERA with a FIP just above 2. Cut his career numbers in half. No way he continues that.

    • He will not be very good with Toronto I predict, but he would have been better than Morton and Locke here.

      • If it’s the guy after Phillies, before Pirates that pretty much is Locke/Morton.

        I just think JA Happ timed his FA perfectly. It’s funny reading the Jays fan bitch about having to pay him more than double what they did before to pretty much do the same, they assume.

  • no chance they were going to spend 36 on Happ for 3 years after they’re spending 39 million for 3 years of Liriano.

    • I don’t think one has anything to do with the other. It’s about who else is available now that fits their budget. And there are lots of options out there still who have more than a 2 month outlier track record.

  • Be interesting to see how JA does next year. That price makes sense, but i’d be a bit uneasy throwing that many years/dollars at a guy who went from 4+ FIP and xFIP his entire career to highly sought after due to 2 good months. Id hope PGH is players for a guy in his price range with a bit less of a “where did this come from” background.

    Good for him for getting paid off that hot stretch.

    • All the Blue Jay blogs are citing not having to sacrifice a pick was the reason they were so aggressive.

      But does make you wonder how north some of these other deals are gonna go. Both above Happ and below.

      • That seems about where i “thought” Happ would go years/money wise. I never bought into the 4 year hype, nor the 15 million stuff.

        So i suppose im not surprised at that price, but im very much on the fence t throwing him that much. Might be a fine value, might see him slide back to high 3s low 4s FIP and xFIP and be a long contract for a back end SP.

      • Maybe if you are a Jays fan you are happy they signed Happ rather than resign Price?

        • Probably has a lot to do with getting Donaldson resigned. In addition to what they already got committed.

          Jays seem unwilling to go 6-7 years with pitchers too. I actually agree with that philopshy.

          • Considering their roster makeup, its not dumb to fill up on mid rotation arms and put your chips on the offense carrying that team. They likely always knew Price isnt in their price range (i tried to avoid the pun), so they go get a few mid rotation types and try to get a good enough rotation.

            Might not work in the playoffs, but they’ll win plenty of games.

  • This is disappointing but I never really was sure he was the answer anyway. The guy had three great months in what, the last five years or so? Time to see what Melancon can bring.

    • Almost the same with Volquez though. The Pirates fixed him and decided not to give him 2 years and 20 million and that was a HUGE mistake

      • Because they nickel and dime. No way they were signing Volquez and Liriano.

        • IKR…. and ultimately it cost us the NL central. Volquez would have been the difference looking back. It was only a 2 game difference. Locke and Morton were horrible most of the time

          • They were never getting AJ+Volquez+Kang. Acting like the Volquez move wouldnt have made their other moves change is foolish.

            They got AJ early in the offseason, likely really lessening their search for a SP. They go after AJ+Volquez, i doubt they throw any offer at Kang.

            • My issue is, why not? AJ 1 year, Volquez 2 years, Liriano 3 years. Kang was a flier, slightly better risk than the minor league guys we’ve been picking up. No long term risks. Heck AJ took a huge cut to come here

              • Mostly because they likely felt like the rotation was good enough to keep them competitive and allow them plenty of room mid season to take on salary.

                Which wasnt totally crazy. The rotation did keep them competitive, and barring them being aware they needed to win 100 games, the rotation didnt stop them from being the best Pirates teams in decades. They were able to take on a large chunk of salary mid season.

                Im not really arguing what they did was right, but that it was clearly their thought process. They banked on AJ being a fine #3, used money elsewhere and ensured they had enough for a range of midseason moves. Right, wrong, or in between they were never going to go get AJ+Volquez+Kang in one offseason.

                • I agree for the most part. I didn’t really think Volquez was much better than generic pitcher A, and yes our pitching was stellar for a time this year. This off season just has me furious. We had the second best record in the league, and instead of adding to the team we are trading the best RP in the NL for prospects, same with Walker. Also there is talk they may non tender Pedro. All the talk is that baseball is awash with cash. NH himself(I think) maybe a different corporate fellow, mentioned that our TV deal is competitive. I hope there is something in the works that will encourage me, but I am not too hopeful.

                  • I think fans assume adding=getting better. In our case, we could easily keep the entire team, add 2 SPs, a few relief arms, and be worse.

                    Every team has to deal with knowing what players on their successful teams arent smart options to remain at their current level of production. Losing all of Walker+Melancon+Pedro would be tough, but losing 1-2 of those guys wouldnt mean a sure fire worse team. I think speculation before things happen is fine, but not without a bit of hesitation in assuming we will unload all guys rumored. All in all, the offseason is always full of rumors and its early to be disheartened by the 2-3 moves made in baseball for anything of worth. 90% of the offseason is still to come.

                  • It’s November 28! The hot stove is barely even warm and you claim the off-season is a total bust!

                    Let it play out before you jump off the cliff, dude.

                    • I admittedly am disgusted by the off-season right now, and I hope I am wrong. All I have heard about is who they can’t afford. I’m 42 and I’m a lifetime fan. Just tired of hearing that we can’t sign Cole, we can’t pay our closer 10 million. I never get why they sign 3 garbage players for 18 million (Burnitz, Randa, Stynes) but scoff at paying 1 stud player 18 million.

                    • You do realize they just had most wins by any Pirates team since the early 20th Century, right?

                      You do realize they have been to playoffs for 3 straight years?

                      You do realize they have one of best teams in baseball and it promises to only get better w the young talent coming of age in the next few years?

                      These are the golden years after 20 years of darkness. Enjoy it!

                    • The problem is the Cubs are getting better, the Cardinals no doubt are going to make moves, and we are talking about getting rid of our closer and second baseman for prospects. Maybe it doesn’t happen, but I are there any other playoff teams talking about dumping players due to what they make ?

                    • Melancon is a classic sell high candidate. They would be rightly blamed for holding onto him if they can get quality young players for him without the bullpen losing much effectiveness.

                      Alvarez needs to be on an AL roster. Just not a viable regular infielder.

                      Walker won’t be traded in my opinion unless they get blown away. Which I don’t believe they will.

                      The Pirates will also improve their roster going forward. Cubs graduated their prospects over last couple years. Pirates are about to do same.

                    • We’ll see, I get a selling high, but that really hurts our pen. Sure Watson can maybe close, but to say they won’t lost effectiveness is a bit of a stretch. As far as prospects, Tallion will be on an innings count, Glasnow will be a 5 inning pitcher with his control. Bell had SEVEN HR’s last year and his D was not much better than Pedro, Hanson is suspect more than prospect right now. I would love to see them, if they move shark for prospects, spin then with a few more to the Reds for Frazier. I have more faith in this mgt. group than any of the prior groups, but this year i am seeing a step back. I hope I am dead wrong.

                    • Change is always risky, but I have faith in this FO’s ability to identify talent in people and places others overlook.

                • I’ll argue what they did was right if you won’t. The 98 wins proves it was right!

                  • Idk, good result doesnt always show a good process. I dont dislike what they did, but I also realize that their success was built on many factors like Kang breaking out, top 3 SPs being legit for half a season, bullpen being insane at the back end, etc.

                    • Management is routinely blamed when things go wrong on the field. They should be acknowledged for what went right, too. Clearly this management team has excelled more than most.

            • whynot? not like it would have been a huge risk. It’s not foolish. It still would have been a very cheap rotation.

          • The only part of your post that made sense were the words, “looking back.”

            The fact is the Pirates won 10 more games last season than the year Volquez was here. And they replaced him w Burnett, who was better and a reason why team won more games.

          • Tim’s made a good point, that you can’t really pretend that they would’ve still gotten Happ if they already had an additional pitcher, in your case Volquez.

            I don’t argue that the Pirates should’ve resigned him, but not realistic to just add his value to the ledger without also removing Happ’s, and Happ himself was just as valuable.

        • If they had resigned Volquez there would have been no AJ and no Kang.

      • Considering they won 10 more games last year, let’s hope losing Happ is another HUGE mistake, too!

  • I’m betting on a one year Tim Lincecum signing.

    • He’s too odd to fix. Plus if he doesn’t regain velocity he’s useless, and if he does he’s probably out of our range

    • he’s got nothing left

      • IMO, no pitcher like him since Pedro. Crazy, crazy, crazy run he put up those first few years in the league.

        But yeah, even back then you always had it in the back of your mind that his body just wouldn’t last. Amazing his elbow has stayed intact, quite frankly.

  • Looks like NH will have to go and find one or two clones of Jeff Locke to round out his staff. We will see this year who was the brains in past projects Jim Benedict or Ray Searage. My money is on J. B.

  • Here comes 1 year 9 million for Beachy, Cahill, or Latos…yay!! Would have rather kept the guy we already fixed for once.

    • Eeks. Latos is reportedly a cancer.

      • So was AJ, fwiw

        • That was nothing more than a product of New York media. Teammates always had AJs back.

          You’d struggle to find someone who *doesn’t* think Latos is an asshole, from the sounds of it.

      • There comes a time in many guys careers where they hit a point where they have to put aside a portion of their ego/tough to handle parts and adjust what they do to succeed.

        Some guys refuse to do it, but Latos is at a point where if he doesnt fix something in his game he’ll be done before he should be. And if he is looking to purely build value, its tough to totally ruin a teams mojo in 1 year. He comes in, tries to rework how he’s effective, and best case he loves the atmosphere and sticks around.

    • So this one signing has removed all other options but the proverbial dumpster dive for Pirates?

      Reality check!

      • Really? Tell me if 12 million is the breaking point, who are we signing?

        • It’s not $12m. It’s 3/$36m for an aging journeyman. There will be plenty of other options who have had a better career than Happ available in Pirates budget.

  • This is not good news. It means we won’t be picking up and pitchers better than Happ unless they are reclamation projects. Let’s hope we have Glasnow and Taillon to lean on because the rotation is no where good enough right now

    • Just because you believe that doesn’t mean it’s true. It’s frickin November! Hot stove just warming up.

      • Hate to break it to you, but flag this post and come back to it in april; you’ll be disappointed.

        • So you think this one signing sets the stage for whole off-season?

        • No I won’t. I trust this FO will do what’s best for franchise. And failing to sign an aging, mediocre SP to a 3 year deal isn’t going to change my opinion.

          • You can have whatever opinion you want. That, I could care less about.

            I was referring to your point about prices coming down. They won’t.

            Also, didn’t realize you have two handles. I wouldn’t have resonded to Scott K if I knew it was you.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    November 27, 2015 10:11 pm

    The Blue Jays are crazy to pay Happ that kind of money. It is my prediction now that he will be out of their rotation by the All Star break next year, if not sooner. He will get crushed in the AL East, and in the AL in general. If the Pirates offered him anything close to that amount, I would have been livid. You don’t pay $36M for an over 30 year old journeyman pitcher who has had only 3 months of pitching success in the past 6-7 years.
    I’m sorry to see him go – and I hope he enjoys all that money, because he will miss the success he had here in Pittsburgh – he would have been a good 3 or 4. I just hope this doesn’t mean we’re stuck with Morton or Locke for another painful year – they are both horrible. We need to start getting younger – time for some of the young pitchers to get a shot.

    • Morton or Locke…more like Morton and Locke.

      The Pirates were in on the ground floor of rehabilitating pitchers. Now that it’s a proven means of success, other teams are doing it…which means the basic price of bad pitching rises which, in turn, raises the cost of mediocre hurlers.

      It was bound to happen…you don’t get a competitive advantage with someone and keep it…others duplicate.

      • The Cardinals did a great job of turning pitchers around when Dave Duncan was the pitching coach so the Pirates didn’t invent a new thing.

      • It’s not even December yet and you claim to know what the Opening Day rotation will be?

        Reality check, dude.

        • You are correct,

          However, unless he just didn’t want to play for the Pirates, it seems they wouldn’t match his price. If someone of Happ’s shaky pedigree is worth $12M, is there really a lot of hope the team is going to get two pitchers better than Morton and Locke for less than they didn’t pay Happ?

    • We will get a couple cheap reclamation project. let’s just hope they work out with Jim Benedict gone.

      • Rich Hill was 1/6…and that’s about as cheap as it’s going to come.

        • Exactly why I was blown away that the Pirates would let Bud Norris go for just $2.5m. Insanely low price for a starter with a 94mph average fastball in 2016.

          I don’t even particularly think he’s much of a starter at this point, for what it’s worth, but as you said its crazy how prices have escalated.

      • They may also get a young quality SP in a trade. That’s a distinct possibility, too, considering Melancon is on the block. They also may invest in a 2nd tier FA w a better track record than Happ.

        I think it’s a mistake to pigeon hole the FO just because of this one signing.

    • Man it is a rare thing we agree on something. But there it is, a total logic bomb from BFSIM…

  • I’ve said it several times, they have to stop acting like some destitute franchise. I guess we can keep Walker now…smh. 15th in attendance last year, and 24th in payroll. I get not giving the 3rd year, but in 3 years a 5th starter is going to be getting 13 million anyway. I wish I could have more faith, and I get that the farm system is way better now, but I hope this isn’t how things are going to go. All I am hearing in a season where we had the second best record in baseball is who we have to trade due to $$. If our TV deal is competitive, as they claim, there is no excuse not to ADD to the 2nd best team in baseball. Or is this just a lost year until Glasnow and Tallion get here.

    • Don’t jump off the yinzer bridge yet brother. Attendance is not always a direct correlation to income, as ticket prices vary. Small market teams have to be very selective when handing out large contracts, and I don’t think anyone here can discredit the management teams overall operation of this ball club. I like to think if NH thought Happ was worth that money they would’ve paid him it. More than likely they saw his second half of last season for what it was, an aberration. He pitched far above his career numbers, and its not likely he repeats them. Would you give Locke 3 years and 36 mil? Because their career numbers aren’t far off. Small market competitive teams stay that way by not saddling themselves with bloated contracts like the Phillies and Brewers.

      • His numbers when he’s pitched in the N.L. have been much better. I know this management team has been better, but don’t make excuses for them by citing ticket prices. IF they are telling the truth about the TV deal, that it is competitive, that itself pays most of the payroll each year. Add in revenue sharing and whatever share of the luxury tax team money they get and there’s no reason they can’t be middle of the pack. Phillies made the mistake of paying players in their mid to late 30’s 20+ million. Hardly 12, which in 3 years is what the reclamation guys will cost.

    • Just because they didn’t sign Happ doesn’t mean the offseason is lost. Take a few steps back…

      • I get that Happ isn’t losing Cole, BUT all we have heard all off-season is about trading our closer and 2b due to what they make . I will happily back off this statement when they are even rumored as being in on a real player. Ot’s old playing which dumpster fire pitcher can we put out. This regime has been either lucky or good, I’m not sure which. But when do we move to middle of the pack in payroll if all other factors (TV deal, attendance) indicate we should be there. Also since we can no longer funnel as much money into the draft, where is all the money ending up? If you dump the 28 million you would have paid Walker (which would be a huge mistake, imo) Shark, and Pedro, where do you spend it? 12 million is nothing if they thought Happ figured it out. In 3 years the reclamation projects are going to cost that.

      • I get that Happ isn’t losing Cole, BUT all we have heard all off-season
        is about trading our closer and 2b due to what they make . I will
        happily back off this statement when they are even rumored as being in
        on a real player. Ot’s old playing which dumpster fire pitcher can we
        put out. This regime has been either lucky or good, I’m not sure which.
        But when do we move to middle of the pack in payroll if all other
        factors (TV deal, attendance) indicate we should be there. Also since we
        can no longer funnel as much money into the draft, where is all the
        money ending up? If you dump the 28 million you would have paid Walker
        (which would be a huge mistake, imo) Shark, and Pedro, where do you
        spend it? 12 million is nothing if they thought Happ figured it out. In 3
        years the reclamation projects are going to cost that.

  • John, do we get compensation in next years draft for Happ signing with Blue Jays?

  • This miss is a total bummer. I feel significantly worse about not signing Happ than I did about not signing Volquez.

    The thought of a 36 year old starting LHP doesn’t bother me when said pitcher repeatedly touched 94 in his age 33 season. If he repeated last year’s success, he’d be easily tradeable in 2017 (although why would you want to if that were the case?)

  • Going to need a starter. This deal IMO doesn’t make sense for Toronto but they can taste it. We better have an answer.

    • Folks need to spend some time with this….

      They predicted Happ at 3 years, $11M a year – so they were pretty close.

      So the deal DOES make sense for Toronto – their is risk – but he got paid what he earned with his stint at PNC – and will not cost the Jays a draft pick…

      I know that these numbers SOUND crazy – but I will repeat myself – the market is moving – what you used to be able to get for $8M a year now costs $10-12M a year.

      Guys like Chen [4 @$13M], Giardo [4@$14M] and Kennedy [4@$12M] are in the same value range as Happ and will cost whoever signs them a draft pick since the declined their QO

      You can shout from the roof tops that you will never pay that kind of money for a starter – but if you do, you can’t – or shouldn’t – get crazy when Locke and Morton are your 4 and 5 guys.

      The cost of fielding a competitive team has moved from $100M to $120M – maybe a bit more.

      • With the glut of 2nd tier SP on the market, there will be some left without chairs when the music stops and will be looking for a deal like Santana got w Braves a few years ago.

        The Pirates may go this route. They may decide to pay market value on a multi-year deal on one of many available 2nd tier guys, or they may trade for a SP.

        The fact is this one signing doesn’t change anything except that Happ won’t be back. No need to make it a bigger issue than it is.

        • BuccosFanStuckinMD
          November 28, 2015 10:48 am

          agreed, I was not counting on Happ to be anywhere near as effective next year, as he was for the 2-3 months of 2015.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        November 28, 2015 10:47 am

        Well, I am glad the Pirates did not pay $36M for a 30+ pitcher who has had only 2-3 months of high quality pitching in his entire career. In the AL East, with the small ball parks and DH, he Happ will not do well.
        What doesn’t make any sense to me is why would pitchers like Chen and Happ be in the same price range. Chen is far more proven and has been a quality starter for 2-3 years, unlike Happ’s 2-3 months. Plus, I think Chen may even be younger than Happ. I would give Chen $36M for 3 years, but not Happ.

  • Has to be said…

    It’s not Happening.

  • So how good can Alen Webster be after Uncle Ray fixes him? #5 starter until Taillon or Glasnow is ready?

    • He’s a reliever

      • It remains to be seen what his role will be with the Bucs. However he was a starter in 2015 and has been a starter for his entire career, both in the minors and in the majors. In total 163 starts and 32 relief appearances. And 20 starts and 4 relief appearances in 2015.

        • He has no option left, so he’s either on the roster OD or they try to slide him through waivers and hope no one takes him.

          If they intend on having him in PGH on OD, its far more likely that happens out of the bullpen. He’d need some time as a SP to become truly ML ready, unless he’s one of the quicker reclamation projects to work out.

  • Did Happ have a home in Toronto that his wife and family never left?

  • BallHeadWonder
    November 27, 2015 8:59 pm

    If I were any FA Pitcher, I would sign a 1 year deal and work with Uncle Ray and get ready to get paid the following year!! Happ had no intention of signing back with Pittsburgh!! He played his hand and got paid!! To bad for us!! Tough Pill to swallow!!

    • So who is Volquez II ?

      • Gets harder and harder to predict when Rich Hill goes 1/6.

      • Cahill?

        • Latos. He’s the “trendy low buy” if that even makes sense, but id go 2 years on him if possible. He needs to up his value, seems pretty aware he needs to tweak what he’s doing, and shouldnt cost more than 6-8 million per year.

          • Maybe, but I wonder if he will come that cheaply. Steamer still thinks he’s as valuable as Happ, in fewer innings. Much higher beta, obviously, and he may find fewer suitors given his reputation for not only being an a-hole, but for being uncoachable. He’s only burned 4 bridges since 2013 and quickly becoming the Jeff George of baseball. On the other hand, he was a 5-WAR pitcher just 2 years ago.

            In an environment when Rich Hill gets 6 million, I would be surprised to see Latos inked for less than 10.

            • I guarantee no team sees him as Happ valuable. Which is unfair, but its how the market values a hot streak in the most recent performance.

              Latos will never get 3 years, and isnt gonna sniff 12 million after his year. Things have gotten higher money wise, but not 10 million for a guy off a terrible year.

              • Oh, make no mistake – I don’t think Latos gets 3 years. I was referring only to Steamer’s projection for ’16, as in, if a Happ goes for $12M in today’s market, and a Latos projects about the same, I find it unlikely that 30 GMs would agree he’s worth no more than 1/2 that.

                As for what Latos might get on a 1-year deal? Justin Masterson got $9.5M last winter coming off a similar – if not worse – season. And two winters ago, Josh Johnson got $8M coming off a much worse season. I think those are your comps, plus inflation.

                • Might be speculative, but i dont think teams will totally ignore the fact that Latos has not exactly been a clubhouse darling. He’s likely a non terrible option at 8-9 million, but with so much SP available i dont think he pushes near 10.

                  In fact, id argue that if a team targets him early its in their advantage. Other teams likely wont target Latos as plan A, and if they offer something fair (say 6-7 million) he might be swayed and not feel like waiting for 2-3 million more. Latos could wait and try to find a team who misses on plan A or B, but that gets risky if enough teams find their guy and others arent into what he offers.

  • He did out pitch Liriano while with Pittsburgh. The question was, how long would that last given his history. I imagine the stumbling block with Pittsburgh was the third year. Three years at age 33 is a real risk in the third year. With the young talent coming up I don’t thin k the Pirates should have gone three years. Too Bad!!! Happ was a really good fit.

  • The Liriano deal was very team friendly – Frankie gave the Bucs a very nice discount. The market has moved – there are folks out there – check Fangraphs – suggesting that Chen might be worth as much as $20M a year…

    Not sure I would trade Locke for Chen they were both making the same money…

    But what do i know…

  • So, let me think about this. In effect, the Pirates DFA’d Adrian Sampson and JaCoby Jones in order to win enough games to lose the WC game at home. Maybe without those trades they would have lost in Chicago.

    • Sampson stunk and Jones is suspended. One thing they have in this organization is SS and 2b.

      No issue with those trades. Outside of Brock Holt I don’t think NH has moved anything of consequence. Which might be damning in itself, if that’s how you measure a system.

    • What would you have done? JA happ was one of the best pitchers in baseball During the second half. I’d make the same moves again easily.

    • That’s a glass half empty perspective.

    • Damned if they do, damned if they don’t, huh?

  • Ray Searage should get a cut of Happ’s money…

  • Getting tired of us fixing pitchers for other teams- least it costs them some $$$

  • Can we still sign the left handed J.A. Happ?

  • As I said for a month, he didn’t cost a pick. That’s why I thought he’d be in demand.

    But I’m kinda glad they passed. At that price.

  • If Happ is worth Liriano money…just about any reclamation project the Pirates are targeting will become the highest paid player on the team.

    • Well, this likely leaves the Pirates in a tough spot since many/most similarly situated options are going to cost just as much or more…and we need the pitching assist.

      • Yup. I’m not as hard on Morton and Locke as many are…but I’m not thrilled with them being the 3/4. Unless the team is willing to open the wallet wide, that may end up being the case.

      • Not true. Tons of starters available, prices will come way down in a few weeks.

        • Prices in this market can go both ways. Do they come down in a few weeks because a ton of guys are left or do guys keep getting solid deals and teams start getting panicky as arms start to find homes.

          Happ hasnt really changed the market to my eyes. 10-12 million, 2-3 years was always likely.

    • Not true. Early signings in a market rich in options will always cost more. Patience is the key – like when we signed Liriano last year.

      • Um, December 9th? A week and a half, that’s when prices will come down?

        Because that’s when they signed Liriano.