10:18PM: “The industry belief” is that the Yankees and Brewers are the front-runners for Happ, Sherman writes. The Cubs still “might be in play,” though Chicago also asked the Jays about Marcus Stroman. In another tweet, Sherman mentions that the Blue Jays like Yankees infielder Brandon Drury.
9:33PM: The Yankees still look like the favorite for Happ right now, with Feinsand calling them “the leader” of the teams in pursuit, and SNYTV’s Andy Martino saying the Bombers are “in strong position.” A trade may not be imminent, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that a deal is “unlikely” to take place tonight. (All links to Twitter.) Both Feinsand and Martino list the Cubs and Brewers still being involved, with Martino adding the Rockies as a new team to the Happ rumor mill. Feinsand feels the number of teams in on Happ will result in a nice trade return for the Blue Jays.
9:10PM: There are conflicting reports about the Yankees’ involvement in the trade, as Steve Phillips of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM tweets that the Jays are “focusing on finalizing” the Happ deal with New York. Fancred’s Jon Heyman, however, reports that other teams are still in the running, and the Yankees “seem unaware they are getting [Happ], as of this moment.”
3:46PM: The Yankees are “heavy in the mix” for Happ, Feinsand tweets, with other teams (such as the Brewers) still possibly being in play. The Cubs are one of the other teams involved, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
3:39PM: As the Blue Jays and Twins began action at 3:07pm CT today, Happ hadn’t heard about a trade, Fancred’s Jon Heyman tweets. Happ is in Toronto’s dugout, Sportsnet.ca’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and others have reported.
2:54PM: The Blue Jays “appear close” to striking a deal to send lefty J.A. Happ to a contender, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). Particulars of the potential match are entirely unknown, though certainly a variety of contenders make sense generally as destinations for the veteran starter.
Happ has mostly been a quality performer for the past several seasons. He currently sits at a 4.18 ERA on the present season, with peripherals suggesting he has been even more effective than the results would suggest. Though Happ endured a few rough outings recently, he racked up nine strikeouts and allowed just one earned run over five innings in his last start.
As a pending free agent on a struggling Toronto team, it has long seemed clear he’d be dealt this summer. Happ ranked sixth among trade deadline candidates on MLBTR’s recent list.
Last we heard, the Jays were said to be lowering their asking price on Happ as the deadline draws near. The Yankees, Phillies, and Cubs have been linked to him in recent weeks, though it’s not at all clear whether any of those teams is pressing to land the southpaw today.