Blue Jays rumors: J.A. Happ odd man out?

J.A. Happ has been a regular starting pitcher in the majors since 2009, but right now Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons says he’s the “odd man out,” according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.

Entering the offseason, it appeared that Happ, who was acquired from the Houston Astros last summer, could win a spot in the Blue Jays’ starting rotation. However, Toronto has since acquired R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to go with Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero.

There are other potential starters ahead of Happ on the Blue Jays’ list, and he’s not even a lock to win a spot in the team’s bullpen at this point. Being left-handed helps his cause, but Toronto already has a potential left-handed long man in Brett Cecil.

As a result, Happ could start the season at Triple-A in order to continue getting starter’s innings. The 30-year-old is understandably unhappy with these prospects, something manager John Gibbons can understand.

"Happ really deserves to be starting on a major-league club out there, here he's the odd man out," said Gibbons. "We're built differently, especially via the trades. He can still help us in the 'pen, he can be valuable down there, and the thinking is if that's going to help us more, we'll leave him in the bullpen. If for some reason no, he can go back down to triple-A and at least get some innings in.”

The old clichĂ© generally holds true in baseball that a team can never have too much starting pitching. For this reason, Toronto likely won’t trade Happ just to make a move. But, if they receive a competitive offer from a team in need of starting pitching, the southpaw could be on the move later this spring.

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