The Toronto Blue Jays traded veteran pitcher J.A. Happ to the Seattle Mariners for the Victoria, B.C. native Micheal Saunders.
The move is seen to signify that the Melky Cabrera era is officially over in Toronto. Cabrera, finished in the top 10 in batting average each of the last two years he has been in the Jays starting left fielder since 2013. Set to enter free agency, Cabrera’s asking price was likely greater than what the Jays were willing to offer.
In Saunders the Jays will free up millions in salary and get a player who has flirted with becoming a dangerous offensive weapon in his young career. His best season came in 2012 with Seattle when he hit 19 homers and stole 21 bases. Last year he hit .279 over 78 games.
The departure of Happ will also free up a spot in the Jays rotation. Top prospect Aaron Sanchez is seen as the biggest candidate for the job. The highly touted flame-thrower played 24 games for the Jays in relief duty sporting a 1.09 ERA.
In Saunders the Jays will now have three Canadian born players on their roster.