The Yankees have announced that they’ve traded for left-handed starting pitcher J.A. Happ. In the deal they will be sending infielder Brandon Drury and outfield prospect Billy McKinney to the Blue Jays.
I wrote when the Yankees acquired Zach Britton that it was a good move, but it didn’t move the needle because they already have a great bullpen and that they needed to address the starting rotation, and it didn’t take them very long to do so and it seemed like it was only going to be a matter of time because they have the assets to make things happen.
J.A. Happ is in his 12th major league season and he has been a pretty consistent starter for most of his time in the league. This season he is 10-6 with a 4.18 ERA and a good strikeout-to-walk ratio. This isn’t a blockbuster trade for the Yankees, but this was a need and the starting pitching market during this trade deadline is relatively weak.
This is a really good trade for Toronto in my opinion because Brandon Drury is only 25 years old and while he has had a down season this year after falling out of favor in the Yankees infield, he was pretty good during his three seasons playing for the Diamondbacks, hitting .271 during those three years with 31 home runs and 71 doubles. He has also shown an ability to play pretty much every position on the field and he will be under team control through 2022. He’ll be getting regular playing time again in Toronto and that should really help out his career.
After being a first-round pick in 2013 by Oakland, Billy McKinney has been traded a couple of times and was the number 20 ranked prospect in the Yankees organization prior to this trade. He is having a rough season in the minor leagues this season but he is still only 23 and has time to develop. He is viewed as a solid hitter with above-average speed.
I really do like this trade for both teams. Drury is kind of a forgotten about man because he has been buried on the Yankees bench this season, but he is still young and talented and brings major league ready talent to Toronto. McKinney is a former first-round pick so he obviously has talent, but still seems like he has a little ways to go before getting a full-time shot at the major leagues.
The Yankees gave up a valuable piece in Drury, but with Miguel Andújar and Gleyber Torres taking over two of the infield spots this season he became expendable for New York. Also, J.A. Happ addresses their biggest need when it comes to their chances to win a World Series and if you have a chance to win a World Series that season, you do whatever it takes.