With their needs on the mound having reached the desperation point, the Toronto Blue Jays announced a deal with the Houston Astros on Friday which sees three pitchers — lefthanded starter J.A. Happ and relievers Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter heading north. In return, the Jays have sent reliever Francisco Cordero and outfielder Ben Francisco, along with minor-league pitchers Asher Wojciechowski, David Rollins and Joe Musgrove, catcher Carlos Perez and a player to be named later.
Toronto has also recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas outfielder Travis Snider, who has been destroying Pacific Coast League pitching with a .335 average, 13 home runs and 56 RBIs in 56 games. Snyder will be in uniform when the Jays begin a three-game series in Boston against the Red Sox on Friday. To make room for him on the roster, the Jays moved pitcher Robert Coello to the 60-day disabled list.
The 29-year-old Happ has a 7-9 win-loss mark with a 4.83 earned-run average in 18 starts for the Astros this season. The southpaw has a 32-33 lifetime record and a 4.16 ERA in six seasons with the Astros and Philadelphia Phillies.
Lyon, 0-2 with no saves in 36 innings, comes back to the organization where he began his major-league career as a starter in 2000. The 32-year-old was at one point the primary closer with the Astros, getting 20 saves in 2010 until injuries derailed him the next year. Since starter Brett Myers was converted by Houston to close out games, Lyon had been used primarily as a middle- and late-innings reliever.
Carpenter, 27, is in his second season in the majors and has an 0-2 record with a 6.07 ERA in 30 appearances.
Francisco had been mostly a situational player and pinch-hitter for the Jays, having been acquired in a trade with Philadelphia last December. He hit .240 in 27 games.
Cordero had been signed as a free agent from the Cincinnati Reds and is 12th on the all-time saves list with 329, second only to Mariano Rivera among active players. His time with the Blue Jays was not a happy one, giving up untimely hits and home runs and was often booed off the field by Toronto fans. He had a 3-5 mark with two saves and a 5.77 ERA with the club.
Wojciechowski, 23, went 7-3 with a 3.18 ERA in 18 starts at single-A Dunedin. Rollins, a 23-year-old lefty, pitched briefly for the Vancouver Canadians in the short-season single-A Northwest League in 2011 before going 6-1 with a 2.78 ERA for single-A Lansing this season. The 19-year-old Musgrove compiled a 3.51 ERA in stints with Single-A Bluefield and the Gulf Coast League. Catcher Perez, 21, hit .275 in 71 games with Lansing.