The Blue Jays have made a 10-player trade with the Houston Astros, the team announced Friday.
Toronto gets RHP Brandon Lyon, LHP J.A. Happ and RHP David Carpenter from Houston, while the Jays send RHP Francisco Cordero and OF Ben Francisco, four minor league players, RHP Joe Musgrove, RHP Asher Wojciechowski, LHP David Rollins and C Carlos Perez, and a player to be named later to the Astros.
I have to admit as an avid Blue Jays prospect watcher when I saw the names Asher Wojciechowski, Carlos Perez and Joe Musgrove all included in the same trade with the Houston Astros I was extremely disappointed to see J.A. Happ’s name coming back.
Again, I follow these players almost daily and there is no doubt I overrate some of the Jays minor leaguers but I was thinking (wishfully perhaps) that it was a much better pitcher heading back to Toronto. While we didn’t trade anyone who could be described as ‘untouchable’ we did move a fair share of depth for essentially a collection of relief pitchers.
Big “Woj” is definitely not among even our top five arms and is turning 24-years old this season, not exactly a guy you would describe as a top prospect. He is a big kid but his stats have definitely been underwhelming and a future in the bullpen seems likely.
Joe Musgrove is young (19) and was recently a first round pick in the 2011 MLB draft for the Blue Jays. He is an intriguing player to say the least and I am surprised at his inclusion in this type of deal that adds only depth to the bullpen.
Carlos Perez is an intriguing name for me and although he is still in A-ball he is only 21-years old and slashing 275/358/447 with 22 doubles in 273 at-bats. He has been known as a fairly competent defender and is holding his own in a tough pitchers league at the most demanding position on the diamond.
Theoretically the big addition comes in the form of J.A. Happ, the 30-year old, 6’6”, 200 pound left handed starting pitcher. He is having a half-way decent season with 104.1 innings under his belt with a respectable 8.4 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9.
However he is prone to giving up the long ball (1.47 HR/9) and his mediocre 4.45 FIP in the much weaker NL Central does not give me much confidence heading to the AL East. He is a soft tossing lefty better suited to either a role in the bullpen or at his best Brett Cecil on steroids.
In 549.2 career innings, Happ has a 4.16 ERA, 4.50 FIP, 1.40 WHIP, 7.4 K/9 and 1.9 K/BB.
For the rest of the 2012 season ZIPS projects Happ to throw 65 IPs with a 4.57 ERA and 1.45 WHIP.
There is no doubt bullpen help was needed and adding Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter will be helpful to a team who’s pitching staff has been decimated by injury.
The popular talking point after this trade broke was Alex Anthopoulos must have something else simmering on the trade front. However one can only imagine what the cost of a Matt Garza would be and at this point my guess is the Blue Jays will not be in pursuit of any of the top shelf arms heading into the trade deadline.