Blue Jays manager John Gibbons maintained all along that left-hander J.A. Happ belonged on the team. Now it’s official.

The demotion of left-hander Ricky Romero on Tuesday put Happ in the rotation as the fifth starter.

And on Wednesday, after Happ’s start against the Rays, the Jays announced a two-year deal with the lefty worth $8.9 million — $3.7 million this year, $5.2 million in 2014, superseding the one-year deal he agreed to in January.

Happ had a good spring training, while Romero did not. Regardless, Gibbons felt Happ deserved a role with the Blue Jays despite the early plan to have him open the season in the starting rotation at Triple-A Buffalo.

“No doubt, even if he had a bad spring he deserved to be on the team,” Gibbons said Wednesday before the Blue Jays defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 6-1. “He’s a proven big-league pitcher.”

“That’s definitely good to hear from a guy who knows baseball,” Happ said after allowing one run in 4 2/3 innings. “That’s a great compliment. That’s a lot of what I was trying to get across to them before coming into camp and then trying to do as well as I could here to help the case.”

Happ, 30, is 35-35 with an earned-run average of 4.19 in 116 career major-league outings, including 96 starts. He was obtained by the Blue Jays last July in a trade with the Houston Astros.