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Blue Jays meet with J.A. Happ’s reps

After shipping a few pitchers out of town ahead of the 2018 MLB trade deadline, the Toronto Blue Jays will have to bolster their starting rotation during the winter.

And they’re apparently looking to begin with a familiar face.

The club reportedly met on Tuesday with representatives for free agent pitcher J.A. Happ, who enjoyed two stints in Toronto that spanned over six seasons. Happ was traded to the New York Yankees in late July for infielder Brandon Drury and outfielder Billy McKinney.

General manager Ross Atkins told Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi that he’s keen on bringing Happ back to Toronto, but noted that there are likely a few other teams that are interested in the lefty’s services as well.

“J.A. is one of my favourite people in baseball,” said Atkins, according to Sportsnet. “We’d love to have him back here. I would imagine there would be a great deal of competition for him.”

The Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees have reportedly shown interest in the 36-year-old pitcher, who went 10-6 with a 4.18 ERA with the Jays in 2018.

Happ was nothing short of spectacular after he was traded to New York, going 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts with the Yankees.

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