There has been alot of rumbling about whether or not Milwaukee should take a run at Sonny Gray from the A’s or JA Happ from the Blue Jays. I believe David Sterns should be looking to take a run at JA Happ. Happ is coming off of a career year in Toronto where he was a 20 game winner and held a 3.18 ERA. He also finished sixth in AL Cy Young voting last season as well. He has been solid in limited work with the Jays this season as he has struggled with injury. Happ would be an essential left handed arm to add to the Brewers struggling rotation. Happ is also signed thru next season at $13 million which bolsters his value due to the Blue Jays believing they can compete again next year. Gray is arbitration eligible at the end of the season. Both pitchers would be great adds, but I personally think the Brewers could use a left handed weapon in the rotation.
What would you have to give up for a JA Happ however? More than likely a pitching prospect who is close to MLB ready to replace him for next season given the Blue Jays are going to want to contend. Zach Davies may be a piece the Jays could ask for given his success he had last year and his young age. Top prospect Lewis Brinson would also be a name teams will want to target. I don’t have such a hard time letting him go if it gets us JA Happ and he leads us to the playoffs. Brinson is also an outfielder as well where the Brewers have a surplus of prospects such as Brett Phillips, Corey Ray, Trent Clark, Ryan Cordell, and Monte Harrison. The Brewers also have a very deep prospect pool to dig from as they have the highest rated farm system in the major leagues. You can afford to cough up a big name prospect or two. Ideally to get Happ or even Gray, I think you are looking at a Davies, Brinson, and another top 30 prospect going the other way. Keep in mind this is all theoretical.
You may not like the idea of shipping prospects out the door for short term success. But let me remind you of a guy by the name of CC Sabathia. (Who was also a lefty) I wrote about how great that trade worked out for the Brewers back in February. I don’t think either Happ or Gray is on the same level as Sabathia, but they could still be a huge help in the tight division race. Also take a look at the Astros. In 2015 they exceeded expectations and bought high at the deadline bringing in Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers in exchange for 4 prospects. (A trade that has worked out very well in Milwaukees favor) But Houston earned a wild card spot defeating the Yankees and unfortunately losing to the Royals in the ALDS. They took a step back in 2016 but are right back on track in 2017 as one of the best teams in baseball which is almost purely homegrown talent even after shipping out guys like Domingo Santana, Brett Phillips, and Josh Hader. I believe making a run at JA Happ is worth the risk to make a push for the division title.