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Atkins: Blue Jays open to bringing back Happ, Estrada

Mike Carlson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Just because the Toronto Blue Jays traded left-handed starter J.A. Happ to the New York Yankees in July, it doesn't mean he's gone for good.

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Tuesday that the team is open to bringing Happ - as well as fellow impending free agent Marco Estrada - back to Toronto, according to Mike Wilner of Sportsnet.

Speaking with media, Atkins said he thinks Happ really enjoyed his time with the Blue Jays, and the people working within the organization. Happ's dynamic with pitching coach Pete Walker was said to be an especially positive development for the franchise.

The 35-year-old had been in his second stint with the Blue Jays at the time of the trade. In parts of three seasons since rejoining the team, he went 47-21 with a 3.55 ERA, and was named an All-Star for the first time in his career in 2018.

Since joining the Yankees, he's been perhaps his best self, going 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.

Estrada has had a rockier finish to his Blue Jays tenure. Since an outstanding first season in Toronto in 2015 when he posted a 3.13 ERA across 181 innings, he's trended in the other direction. In 2018, he went 7-14 with a 5.64 ERA over 28 starts.

Still, Blue Jays brass appears open to bringing one - or both - of the veteran hurlers back into the fold during free agency.

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