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Phillies Dodged Bullet by Trading J.A. Happ

Posted By Bill Baer On March 27, 2013 @ 7:30 pm In MLB,Philadelphia Phillies,Sabermetrics | 18 Comments

The Toronto Blue Jays signed lefty J.A. Happ to an extension. Gregor Chisholm tweeted the details:

Paul Boye tweeted about how favorably Kyle Kendrick‘s extension (two years, $7.5 million) compares to Happ’s:

 

 

There was a time when Phillies fans viewed Happ as a long-term fixture in the rotation, perhaps a future ace alongside Cole Hamels. But ever since leaving the Phillies in the trade that brought Roy Oswalt to Philadelphia in 2010, it’s been all downhill for Happ. Though the Kendrick extension was excoriated by many of the statistically inclined, you can’t help but feel thankful that things have turned out so well when comparing the fate of the two pitchers.

Kendrick improved his strikeout rate substantially, from 10.9 percent in 2010 to 17.2 percent in 2012. In the same time, his SIERA has gone from a laughable 4.85 down to a respectable 4.19. Perhaps as important as anything, Kendrick hasn’t complained about his role on the team, whether it’s been as a fifth starter, a mop-up arm in the bullpen, or Triple-A filler.

Comparatively, Happ was not pleased with the idea that he might not make the cut in the Blue Jays’ rotation — a rotation that includes NL Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey, strikeout maven Brandon Morrow, and veterans Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson. Fortunately for Happ, though, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and in voicing his displeasure, he was given both the #5 spot in the rotation and a contract extension. That, despite having the fifth-highest ERA among starters with at least 250 innings pitched over the last two seasons.

I’ll take Kendrick, thank you very much.


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