J.A. Happ, Starting Pitcher, Toronto Blue Jays
Date of Birth: 10/19/1982
Birthplace: Peru, Illinois
College: Northwestern University
Current Salary: $13,000,000
J.A. Happ, starting pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, was first drafted out of college by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2004. He played in the Phillies' minor league system from 2004 through 2008, joining the Phillies for just one game in 2007 and eight games in 2008.
Happ's first full season in the major leagues, 2009, was also his best season. That year, as part of the Phillies starting rotation, he had career highs in games played (35), innings pitched (166.0), and wins (12 to 4 losses). He had a career low ERA of 2.93.
Although Happ had a strong 2009 season, he only played in three games with the Phillies from April through July, 2010. They then traded him to the Houston Astros. He finished the 2010 season with a 6-4 record and 3.40 ERA in 3 games with the Phillies and 13 games with the Astros.
Happ did not have a good first season with the Astros. In 2011, he pitched 156.1 innings in 28 games and he had a 6-15 record with a 5.35 ERA. The following season, the Astros traded him to the Blue Jays in July.
In January, 2013, Happ signed a one-year, $3.7 million contract with the Blue Jays. He had limited playing time in 2013 after he was hit in the head by a line drive in early May. He finished the 2013 season with a 5-7 record and a 4.56 ERA in 18 games.
Happ pitched 158.0 innings in 30 games in 2014. He finished the season with an 11-11 record, 133 strikeouts to 51 walks, and a 4.22 ERA.
On December 3, 2014, Happ was traded to the Seattle Mariners for Michael Saunders. He was traded again on July 31, 2015, this time to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He finished the 2015 season with an 11-8 record, a career high 151 strikeouts to 45 walks, and a 3.61 ERA in a career high 172.0 innings in 21 games with the Mariners and 11 games with the Pirates.
Happ agreed to return to the Blue Jays on November 27, 2015. He signed a three-year, $36 million contract with the team. He had a strong 2016 season, finishing with career highs in wins (20 to 4 losses), strikeouts (163 to 60 walks), and innings pitched (195.0). He had a 3.18 ERA in 32 games. In the postseason, he pitched 10.0 innings in 2 games and he gave up 13 hits and 3 runs.
Career pitching statistics for Happ through 2016 include:
- 228 games played
- 1,207.2 innings pitched
- 82-65 win-loss record
- 1,022 strikeouts to 459 walks
- 3.98 ERA