Minnesota Twins Trade Chip No. 5: J.A. Happ
Return: Low-Level, Lottery Prospect
The signings of J.A. Happ and Matt Shoemaker have been absolute, unequivocal disasters for the Twins. Brought in to replace Rich Hill and Jake Odorizzi, the pair of pitchers have been embarrassing, getting hammered in most of their starts. Shoemaker should have been designated for assignment a while ago. Happ may still have some value left.
The 38 year-old’s numbers have been ruined by three really bad starts, but his other six starts were really solid. Before his recent rough patch, he had a very good 1.91 ERA and a 16-8 K/BB ratio. That’s good enough to for someone to make an offer.
A playoff contender dealing with injuries that needs a fifth starter for the stretch run could look at Happ and see him as a dirt cheap option that can offer value. If he has a few good starts over the next month, it shouldn’t be hard for the team to find a buyer.
If he doesn’t turn it around, his playoff experience (15 games) gives him more trade value than Shoemaker or Alex Colome. In addition, the Twins can fill his starts with Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer, Bailey Ober, and Charlie Barnes until the top prospects are ready, offering a chance to see what they’re made of. A deal makes sense.