The Blue Jays haven’t been able to catch a break with their pitching staff this season, so it makes perfect sense that J.A. Happ is done for the year with an injury to his right foot.
According to Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun, Blue Jays manager John Farrell said a fracture was found in the foot after he felt lingering discomfort in his ankle following a play at first base on August 29 against the Yankees.
“We’re not quite sure where it started,” manager John Farrell said. “The play at first base irritated his ankle where he was feeling discomfort at the time. When the discomfort lingered, we had an MRI done and it showed a fracture in the foot. The recommendation is to have surgery and his season is over.”
Happ, who was acquired from the Astros in July in a 10-player trade, posted a 4.69 ERA and 46/17 K/BB ratio in 40 1/3 innings over six starts and four relief appearances with Toronto. The 29-year-old southpaw is the eighth Blue Jays pitcher to go down with a season-ending injury this year, joining Robert Coello, Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, Jesse Litsch, Dustin McGowan, Luis Perez and Sergio Santos.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.