The holiday shopping season got started with an actual transaction on Black Friday, with the Toronto Blue Jays signing free agent pitcher J.A. Happ to a three-year contract worth $36 million, the team announced.
Happ was 11-8 with a 3.61 ERA with 151 strikeouts and 45 walks in 172 innings between the Mariners and Pirates in 2015. The left-hander was especially effective down the stretch after getting acquired by the Pirates, going 7-2 with a 1.85 ERA in 11 starts with Pittsburgh, with 69 strikeouts and just 13 walks in 63⅓ innings.
Happ was ranked as the 32nd-best free agent of the offseason by Grant Brisbee of SB Nation back in October.
This is a return up north of the border for Happ, who pitched in Toronto for parts of three seasons with the Blue Jays. He went 19-20 with a 4.39 ERA in 58 games (including 50 starts) from 2012-2014, before getting traded to Seattle for outfielder Michael Saunders.
Happ made $6.7 million in 2015.
The 33-year-old left-hander is 62-61 with a 4.13 ERA and a 96 ERA+ in parts of nine major league seasons, with the Phillies, Astros, Blue Jays, Mariners and Pirates.