Matt Thornton threw a simulated game yesterday at Fenway Park to prepare himself in case the Red Sox wanted to add him to the roster for the World Series, but they’ve decided against activating the veteran left-hander.
That means Thornton will have sat out the entire postseason after being acquired from the White Sox in July as what the Red Sox hoped would be a late-inning setup man.
Thornton has been one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball for nearly a decade, posting a 3.29 ERA in 479 innings since 2006, but he missed time following the trade with an oblique injury. Still, given how hesitant manager John Farrell has been to trust more than 2-3 key relievers in high-leverage spots you’d think they could find some use for Thornton after deeming him worth trading for just three months ago.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Yankees and Mariners are both expressing interest in Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ.
Happ is posting a 3.48 ERA and a 94/25 K/BB ratio in 82.2 innings across 14 starts and has been stingy with the hits as well. Between that, the Blue Jays’ lack of contention and the fact that Happ is in the walk year of his three-year, $36 million deal, all signs point to the Jays trading them.
In normal circumstances you might not expect the Jays to make a trade with the Yankees, but at this point it sort of doesn’t matter, does it? It’s not like Happ in New York on a couple month rental will impact the 2018 Jays too much. And, given his pending free agency, it’s not extraordinarily likely that he’d haunt the Jays from the Bronx long term either.
There’s not a ton of elite pitching currently available, but as the trade deadline approaches — a little over a month to go on that score — the talk about Happ, Cole Hamels, Francisco Liriano and others will heat up. Figure the Yankees will be linked with any and all available starters.