Letting J.A. Happ Walk:
J.A. Happ carried this team to the post-season last year. He was incredible going 7-2 with a 1.85 ERA after being acquired from the Seattle Mariners at the trade deadline. Many knew because of this he would be hard to retain for the 2016 season and Happ ended up signing a modest three year deal worth a total 36 million dollars with the Blue Jays.
Yes, it is quite a bit of money for a pitcher who only had a good two months last year, but 12 million dollars a year should have been doable for the Pirates.
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The Bucs knew what they would have been getting in Happ after they turned his career around and would have been able to keep him trending in that direction.
Also, he would have filled another spot in the rotation (presuming the Pirates still move Walker for Niese, although they may have correlated). Regardless Happ has been good for the Blue Jays posting a 2.42 ERA in four games so far. Meanwhile, the Pirates fourth and fifth starter have combined for an ERA around 5.
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