J.A. Happ

Michael Saunders

Blue Jays shut down outfielder Michael Saunders for season

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Toronto stopped counting on Michael Saunders a while ago, but now the Blue Jays have officially shut down the injured outfielder for the remainder of the season.

Saunders was acquired from the Mariners for left-hander J.A. Happ in December and the Blue Jays expected him to be a regular, but he ended up playing just nine games due to a knee injury suffered during spring training.

Toronto isn’t exactly hurting for offensive help, but Saunders’ left-handed bat (and .743 OPS from 2012-2014) would have complemented an otherwise right-handed-heavy lineup.

Pirates place A.J. Burnett on the disabled list with elbow inflammation

A.J. Burnett
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Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates have placed starter A.J. Burnett on the 15-day disabled list due to inflammation in his right elbow. The club has recalled pitcher Bobby LaFromboise from Triple-A Indiapolis to take Burnett’s spot on the roster.

Burnett, 38, has struggled over his last three starts, allowing 18 earned runs in 16 innings. As a result, his ERA has ballooned from 2.11 to 3.06. The Pirates acquired pitcher J.A. Happ in a trade with the Mariners just ahead of the 4 PM EST trade deadline, so he will take Burnett’s spot in the rotation.

In an unrelated move, the Pirates designated pitcher Deolis Guerra to make room for reliever Joakim Soria — acquired in a trade with the Tigers on Thursday — on the roster.

Pirates acquire left-hander J.A. Happ from Mariners

J.A. Happ
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Left-hander J.A. Happ is on the move, going from Seattle to Pittsburgh to provide some back-of-the-rotation and/or long relief depth for the Pirates.

Happ has mostly struggled this season with a 4.64 ERA in 20 starts, including a particularly ugly outing versus the Twins earlier this week, and he hasn’t posted an ERA better than 4.20 since 2010. He’s a 32-year-old with a 4.29 career ERA and mediocre strikeout and walk rates, and Happ is an impending free agent.

On the heels of the Pirates acquiring Joe Blanton the Happ addition kind of seems like fifth starter/long reliever overkill, but clearly the Pirates feel like they need some innings eaten by so-so veterans.

In exchange for Happ the Mariners get 2012 fifth-round draft pick Adrian Sampson, a 23-year-old right-hander with a sub par strikeout rate and iffy overall numbers as a starter at Triple-A.