WASHINGTON -- Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ is a stranger to the All-Star Game. He was selected to the All-Star Game this season for the first time in his 12-year big league career.
Happ is not, however, a stranger to trade rumors. Toronto is expected to unload the veteran southpaw at the trade deadline because he is an impending free agent, and losing him for nothing after the season is a non-option. Happ is a trade chip the Blue Jays will cash in.
"That will all take care of itself," said Happ on Monday. "I just worry about the day-to-day and every five days go out there and do what I can do."
Truth be told, Happ does not have All-Star numbers. A brutal five-start stretch to close out the first half -- Happ has allowed 25 runs in 26 1/3 innings in those five starts -- sent him into the All-Star break with a 4.29 ERA (98 ERA+) in 109 innings.
Despite that, pitching is always in demand at the trade deadline, and Happ's track record is strong enough that the Blue Jays still figure to receive a quality prospect in return. The Yankees, Brewers, Phillies, and Mariners are all said to be in the mix.
When he's traded -- and it really is "when" at this point, not "if" -- it will be the fourth time Happ has been moved at the deadline in his career. His three prior trade deadline trades:
- 2010: Traded by Phillies with Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar to Astros for Roy Oswalt.
- 2012: Traded by Astros with David Carpenter and Brandon Lyon for Francisco Cordero, Ben Francisco, Joe Musgrove, Carlos Perez, David Rollins, Asher Wojciechowski, and Kevin Comer.
- 2015: Traded by Mariners to Pirates for Adrian Sampson.
Being traded at the deadline three prior times doesn't make the impending fourth deadline deal any easier, of course. Having to relocate and move your family on the fly is never easy.
"There's a little anxiety that comes with that," said Happ. "We've got a couple more weeks to go and we'll see where it ends up."