J.A. Happ Traded to Pittsburgh on Deadline Day


Just before the clock struck 1:00 pm PST, the Seattle Mariners agreed to send J.A. Happ to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The M’s received 23-year-old right-hander, Adrian Sampson in return for Happ. The Mariners made the deal official on twitter.

The M’s dealt for Happ in the offseason from the Toronto Blue Jays in hopes he would solidify the back end of their rotation. He has not been overly effective for Seattle this season, going 4-6 with a 4.64 ERA through 21 appearances for the M’s. The 32-year-old southpaw struck out 82, walked 32 and allowed 13 home runs across 108.2 innings pitched in his debut campaign in the Emerald City.

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The Northwestern alum started strong with the Mariners, going 3-1 with a  3.31 ERA over his first 11 starts in a Mariners’ uniform. However, he has struggle mightily during his last 9 starts. Since June 11th, Happ is 1-5 with a 6.65 ERA.

Happ’s last couple starts have been dysfunctional and disappointing. Against the Blue Jays last weekend, he failed to escape the 2nd inning after a standoff erupted between himself and his catcher, Jesus Sucre. Happ and Sucre could not agree on what pitch to throw, and the results were not pretty. Last night, he surrendered 7 runs on 9 hits through 3.1 innings pitched in a loss to the Twins. Happ’s tenure in Seattle was shot-lived and forgettable.

It is rare for me to praise Jack Zduriencik, but he actually did a nice job today acquiring an intriguing young right-hander in exchange for a fading veteran.

Feb 26, 2015; Bradenton, FL, USA; (Editors note: Caption correction) Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Adrian Sampson (76) poses for photo day at Pirate City. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Sampson is currently ranked by MLB.com as the Pirates 28th best prospect. The 23-year-old has never appeared in a Major League game, and has spent the entire 2015 season with the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis. Sampson is 8-8 with a 3.98 ERA across 21 starts this year with the Indians. He has struck out 95 and walked 29 through 124.1 innings pitched. Sampson has allowed 1.335 walks/hits per inning, but he does a nice job keeping the ball in the yard, as his 0.6 home runs per 9 innings indicates. He may not have ace caliber stuff, but Sampson profiles as a solid 4 or 5 in a big league rotation someday.

Sampson must be thrilled to be coming to Seattle. He was born in Redmond and went to high school at Skyline in Sammamish, WA. Sampson was selected by the Pirates in the 5th round of the 2012 MLB draft out of Bellevue Community College.

Sampson will likely begin his tenure with the Mariners down the road in Tacoma, but look for him to get a chance with the big club before the end of the season. In a season filled with disappointment, watching Sampson debut at Safeco Field in front of friends and family will hopefully provide fans with a brief moment of happiness.

Next: Mark Lowe Traded to Blue Jays for Trio of Young Arms

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