Former Orioles executive Andy MacPhail believed in the “grow the arms” philosophy because he felt that getting pitching was expensive and getting it any other way proved to be expensive. After watching J.A. Happ ink a deal with a $12MM AAV, Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com agrees with the expensive part. Happ, of course, finished the 2015 season with a stellar 1.85 ERA over 11 starts for the Pirates, but he posted a 4.64 ERA in his previous 20 starts for Seattle. Happ’s overall track record is one of mediocrity and Melewski can’t quite understand why the Blue Jays paid that much for him. He’s not alone in that thinking, either.
Here’s more on Happ and other items out of the AL East:
- Interim GM Tony LaCava says the Blue Jays inked Happ because he fills an urgent need for the club without forcing Toronto to give up a prospect, big leaguer, or draft pick, as John Lott of the National Post writes. Overall, it sounds like LaCava is not even close to done. “We’ve had dialogue with any number of (free agents), a wide net we’ve cast, and we still have conversations with various free agents and their agents and also with other teams looking at the trade market as well,” LaCava said. “I wouldn’t rule anything out right now, but certainly we did address some of the bigger needs that we had.”
- Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette of SiriusXM (audio link) see tons of red flags when it comes to the Blue Jays‘ deal with Happ. Bowden is troubled by the enormity of the contract, which appears to be based off of Happ’s small sample size of excellence. The ex-GM expected Happ to command $20MM over a two-year deal, but a three-year, $36MM pact was far beyond what he imagined.
- Wallace Matthews of ESPN.com pondered Bartolo Colon as a fit for the Yankees. Colon, who will be 43 in May, has averaged 196 innings in each of the last three seasons and his 2015 ERA (4.16) was lower than that of several Yankees starters. Still, Matthews expects Colon to start feeling his age sooner rather than later and doesn’t feel that he would be a good match for the Bombers.