Give J.A. Happ and Marco Estrada a lot of credit for how well they’ve been pitching lately (in Happ’s case, lately being the entire season). Here are two veteran pitchers that understand all too well the chances of them being traded in the next little while are pretty good, and yet they’re doing everything possible to boost their trade value so that in future years this ball club stands a better chance of winning.
Happ is already considered one of the better starting pitchers available at the trade deadline. As for Estrada, if he continues to pitch the way he has over his last four starts (1.75 ERA), he’ll be joining Happ soon enough on what is a very short list of solid starting pitchers available as a rental player.
Not to sound too sappy, but Happ and Estrada have been with the Blue Jays for a long time now, and no doubt they’ve developed plenty of dear friends in this organization. Many of these friends are set to remain with the Blue Jays and continue playing in the toughest division in baseball. In the minds of Happ and Estrada, even if they are to be traded, they still want to do everything possible to help the Blue Jays in their absence. Their way of accomplishing this is to pitch as well as they can and just keep on driving up their trade value.
This sort of thinking speaks volumes to their character and professionalism. It also says so much about what this franchise and the future good of their teammates mean to them.
For years now, Happ and Estrada have been stalwarts in the Blue Jays rotation. Without Estrada’s efforts in 2015/2016 and what Happ did in 2016, there’s little chance the Blue Jay even make the post-season those two years. Unlike some players who might pout and be upset upon hearing they’re likely to be traded, Happ and Estrada are doing the complete opposite. Despite it being a disappointing season for Toronto, these two conscientious veterans still see an opportunity to help the Blue Jays chances of success long after they’re gone, and for that they should be commended.