Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Inbox: How would trade affect Toronto at ASG?

Beat reporter Gregor Chisholm answers questions from fans
MLB.com @gregorMLB

If J.A. Happ is traded before the All-Star Game, will another Blue Jay take his place or would they be left without an All Star?
-- Serge T., Laval, Quebec

There's no hard-and-fast rule for how Major League Baseball handles this type of situation. Instead it is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and there are a lot of factors that come into play. The league would work with various parties to find an acceptable solution, and while Happ's predicament is a bit unique, there are precedents.

If J.A. Happ is traded before the All-Star Game, will another Blue Jay take his place or would they be left without an All Star?
-- Serge T., Laval, Quebec

There's no hard-and-fast rule for how Major League Baseball handles this type of situation. Instead it is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and there are a lot of factors that come into play. The league would work with various parties to find an acceptable solution, and while Happ's predicament is a bit unique, there are precedents.

In 2014, right-hander Jeff Samardzija was traded from the Cubs to the A's. Samardzija was deemed ineligible to participate in the game but he was still recognized as a National League All-Star. It's worth noting, the All-Star Game that year decided which league would have home-field advantage in the World Series, and because that's no longer the case, it's possible this situation would be handled differently.

:: Submit a question to the Blue Jays Inbox ::

Another example includes the 2004 trade that saw Carlos Beltran go from the Royals to the Astros when Houston was in the NL. Beltran played for the NL even though he spent most of the year in the AL while Ken Harvey was selected to represent the Royals. In 1998, Jeff Shaw was traded from the Reds to the Dodgers, but in that case the Reds had another representative on the NL team.

The way MLB has handled injury replacements also could play a role here. Last year, Mike Trout missed the All-Star Game because of a thumb issue, and the Angels did not get a replacement. In 2015, the Marlins were left without a representative after both Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon went down with injuries. So it's possible that the Blue Jays would be left without a representative, but that would depend on the timing of a trade, injury replacements from other teams and a lot of other factors.

Have our trade assets lost all potential value coming into the Deadline? Would a team really gamble on Happ to improve its rotation after his last two starts?
-- Mike H., Lake Centre, Nova Scotia

Manager John Gibbons was asked about this the other day and stated that he didn't believe Happ's recent struggles would have much of an impact on his trade value. The thinking is that teams already know what kind of pitcher Happ is and a couple of isolated starts aren't going to move the needle much one way or the other.

Gibbons has to say that because the Blue Jays don't want to sabotage their own trade discussions, but in this case I agree with him. Happ posted a 3.18 ERA in 2016, a 3.53 ERA in 2017, and until June 20 of this year he was sporting a 3.56. The velocity is fine, he's healthy and based on a lengthy track record of success there's no reason to expect anything else than a return to form after this minor blip. Happ's value didn't increase, but it should at least hold strong as a reliable No. 3 option for a contending team.

What are the chances that Josh Donaldson stays a Jay? I have not heard or read much of anything saying that he's a definite goner.
-- @JeepDiCioccio

It's impossible to completely rule out Donaldson's return, but even so, it appears to be extremely unlikely. If Donaldson doesn't get healthy before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, and he remains with the club all season, there's a strong possibility that the Blue Jays will make him a qualifying offer at the end of the year to ensure they receive Draft-pick compensation when he signs with another team.

There' s an off-chance that after an injury-plagued season, Donaldson would be forced to accept the qualifying offer in an attempt to boost his value before re-entering free agency at the end of 2019. But even that scenario seems a little bit far-fetched. Last year's qualifying offer was worth $17.4 million and it will be awfully tempting for a contending team to go after him for one year at a much higher rate, even if it means sacrificing a bit of the future.

Are we likely to see Bo Bichette or Cavan Biggio with the big club this year (assuming Vladimir Guerrero Jr. appearance is given)?
-- @BlueJay35

I would be stunned to see Guerrero -- the club's top prospect -- called up before the end of the season, and it would be just as surprising to see Bichette. Biggio is a bit more of a question mark, but the timeline for each prospect is more realistically 2019. Guerrero should be the first one called up, and the timing for the other two will depend on performance.

Expect to see the trio promoted to Triple-A Buffalo in the not-so-distant future. Guerrero needs to get healthy first, but all three should eventually end up with the Bisons for a decent stretch, and then the expectation would be Buffalo again in early 2019 before a permanent promotion is on the table. Danny Jansen, Anthony Alford and possibly right-hander Sean Reid-Foley should be here before then.

Assuming Happ gets traded, who else should the Blue Jays be looking to move before the Deadline?
-- Colby K., Regina, Saskatchewan

The player I'd aggressively be looking to move is Yangervis Solarte. The 31-year-old has two club options remaining on his contract with an overall value of 13.5 million. His $4.125 salary this season and $5.5 million option for next year should be particularly enticing for a contending team that is looking to add a little bit of power and more versatility to its infield.

Solarte has performed about as expected this season with a .753 OPS compared to his career mark of .747. The biggest asset he brings is pop with 16 home runs in 86 games, but that number is also just two shy of his career high. Solarte's value likely isn't going to get any higher than it is right now, and if the Blue Jays can ship him off for promising prospect it also would create additional playing time for Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who projects to be the future utility infielder.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays