At this point in the season, most of the intriguing Toronto Blue Jays storylines involve players that might be traded.
It’s no secret J.A. Happ and Marco Estrada are among the players garnering some interest from various teams. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons has been impressed at how the two starting pitchers have remained composed on the mound and are dealing with the distraction of having their names out there.
“I don’t think anyone wants to be uprooted and what have you,” Gibbons told Arash Madani and Richard Deitsch during a Thursday appearance on Prime Time Sports. “Sure, there’s some good feelings of where you might go to one of the top teams in baseball–I get that–but still it’s kind of an unsettling thing. They gear up for one place, one year. In Happ’s case, he’s having a tremendous year but he’s that kind of guy. He’s able to push all that aside and just concentrate on what he’s doing.”
Happ, 35, has been Toronto’s best starter this season with a team-best 10 wins and 3.62 ERA in 16 starts, while Estrada, 34, has been keeping strong with a 2.35 ERA through five June starts.
“He was hot and heavy in the trade rumours and I think that affected him a little bit last year,” Gibbons said of Estrada. “This year I don’t think it is.”
Happ and Estrada, both of whom have a $13-million salary in 2018, are set to become free agents at the conclusion of the season.
“If you’re a team that’s in the lead out there and sitting in a good spot, in my opinion anyways, those would be two guys I would definitely have interest in too,” Gibbons added. “Happ’s been as steady as anyone in baseball the last couple years and Estrada’s pitched some big games. He pitched some of the biggest and most dominant games for us when we were in the playoffs those two years, so I would expect there’d be some interest.”