Joe Blanton

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

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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.