Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ traded to Yankees

Kristopher Nichols
July 27, 2018

Atkins did not budge, and a day later it was Cashman who blinked, trading for Happ despite a price tag that rival executives considered to be a clear overpay for a rental. MLB.com reporter Mark Feinsand later reported the deal involves the Yankees sending infielder Brandon Drury and outfield prospect Billy McKinney. Another evaluator insisted that Drury alone should have been enough.

Happ is 10-6 this season with a 4.18 ERA, and while he has struggled some lately, he's two years removed from finishing sixth in AL Cy Young Award voting.

They add one of the best starting pitchers available without surrendering a top prospect or a key piece from their big-league roster.

Happ was the Blue Jays' representative to the MLB All-Star Game last week in Washington.

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Drury first established himself as a valuable utility player in Arizona, posting a.775 OPS from 2016-17 while playing at second base, third base, left field and right field. He has a $621,900 salary and has 2 years, 99 days of major league service, making it possible he could be eligible for salary arbitration for the first time next winter. He'll remain controllable through 2021 or 2022, depending on how much time he spends in the majors this year. Most recently, he was traded from Seattle to Pittsburgh in 2015.

The 23-year-old was selected by Oakland with the 24th overall pick in the 2013 amateur draft, was traded to the Chicago Cubs with Addison Russell and Dan Straily for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammell in July 2014, then dealt to the Yankees along with Gleyber Torres and Adam Warren for Aroldis Chapman in July 2016.

Beyond the power, the Blue Jays grade McKinney's other tools (fielding, arm, speed and hitting ability) as average or better. But he only played 18 games for NY this season as the Yankees moved ahead by graduating Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar to the big club.

As for McKinney, he was no higher than seventh on the outfield depth chart when everyone is healthy and no higher than fifth on the current outfield depth chart with Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique, hip, foot, back) and Clint Frazier (post-concussion migraines) on the disabled list. He missed the month of April before returning to action May 5.

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