Shelton: Report card for Blue Jays' Oh and Happ trades
By Cole Shelton
Canadian Baseball Network
The Toronto Blue Jays were very busy today on the trade front dealing reliever Seunghwan Oh to the Colorado Rockies and starting pitcher J.A. Happ to the New York Yankees.
In return, the Blue Jays acquired three prospects and one player who is ready to contribute at the major league level right now.
Obviously, there is no way to know what the other offers were or what Toronto was asking for in return for these two players, but here are the grades for the two trades.
Toronto acquires: OF Forrest Wall, 1B Chad Spanberger and either cash or a player to be named later
Colorado acquires: RHP Seunghwan Oh
At first glance, the trade makes sense for both teams as the Blue Jays get two prospects to add to their system. On the Rockies front, they get an effective veteran reliever for a year and a half.
In the deal, the Blue Jays receive a former 2014 first-round pick in Forrest Wall who has transitioned from second base to centre field. Wall was on a tear in high-A, where he was batting .305 with a .382 on-base percentage, while also hitting three home runs and 19 RBIs in 47 games before being promoted to double-A where he has struggled, hitting just .206 with six home runs and 12 RBIs in 46 contests.
Wall was the Rockies' 13th best prospect and will be heading to double-A New Hampshire.
The Blue Jays also acquired the Rockies' 24th best prospect in Chad Spanberger. Spanberger has been playing in class-A and has been hammering the ball. In 92 games this season, the left-handed hitting first baseman was batting .315 with a .363 on-base percentage and 22 home runs and 75 RBIs. One knock on him is that he strikes out too much; has struck out 82 times in just 349 at-bats.
He is expected to join the Blue Jays' low-A Lansing Lugnuts.
Overall, between Wall and Spanberger the Blue Jays got a nice haul for a 36-year-old reliever who signed on a cheap contract after not getting much interest this offseason.
Toronto’s grade: B+
Toronto acquires: INF/OF Brandon Drury and OF Billy McKinney.
New York acquires: LHP J.A. Happ
The Blue Jays finally dealt their top trade asset in starting pitcher J.A. Happ. Not only did they trade Happ, but they shipped him to the division-rival New York Yankees.
The reaction to the Happ trade has been mixed. Some think the Blue Jays easily won the trade while others believe they simply did not get enough for Happ who has been top-of-the-rotation starter for the past three seasons.
In return for Happ, the Blue Jays obtained Brandon Drury who has a chance to be a super utility player and a former first-round pick in Billy McKinney.
Drury was initially acquired by the Yankees from the Arizona Diamondbacks to be their starting third baseman, however, the 25-year-old struggled, hitting just .176 with one home run and seven RBIs in just 18 games before losing his job to rookie Miguel Andujar.
Drury was optioned to triple-A where he started to get hot again, batting .294 with a .403 on-base percentage with five home runs and 30 RBIs in 55 games. The versatile Oregon native can play first, second and third base, as well as the outfield. He is set to join the Blue Jays big league roster but it's unknown exactly where he will play.
The Blue Jays also secured outfield prospect and 2013 first-rounder Billy McKinney in the deal. McKinney has enjoyed some success in the minors this season. After starting in class-A, he was promoted to double-A and then to triple-A and even played two games in the majors.
He has spent the bulk of the season in triple-A and was hitting .227 with 13 home runs and 32 RBIs in 54 games at the time of the trade. McKinney projects as a left fielder in the big leagues and will most likely head to triple-A Buffalo and add more depth to the Jays' outfield logjam.
Like the Rockies trade, Toronto got two players who have potential to turn into solid everyday players but both have risk involved.
Toronto’s Grade: B