Yankees: Impressive J.A. Happ open to re-signing with Yanks
Though his last start against the Tigers was less than ideal, J.A. Happ is still undefeated as a member of the Yankees and is already thinking about his future in New York.
Aside from contracting a case of hand, foot and mouth disease that caused him to miss a turn, plus his last outing on Aug. 30 versus the Tigers where he only lasted 4.1 innings while allowing 10 hits, five runs and three long balls, J.A. Happ has been exceptional for the Yankees.
Since his first start in the Bronx on July 29, Happ has gone 5-0 with a 3.38 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, .227 BAA and 35:8 K:BB ratio in 34.2 innings.
Happ’s immediate success in New York led Brendan Kuty of NJ.com to ask if he would consider re-signing with the club, to which Happ responded, “for sure.”
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"“I’d hate to get too far into that, but the one thing that I’ll say is, I’ve been impressed since I came over here with how things have worked so far and all the baseball-related things have been a positive,” Happ said.“So, I think I’d be foolish to cross anybody off the list. But, yes, certainly, judging by how the first month has gone, it would be a place that I for sure would consider coming back if there was interest.”"
The last line Happ spoke, “if there was interest,” is the key. At 35, Happ is looking for one last payday. And while he’s averaged 192 innings during his 14-year career, the Yankees would be wise to think long and hard about how much Happ would command on the open market.
Happ is in the final year of a three-year, $36 million contract — $13 million of which was made this season.
One thing is for sure, 2019’s starting rotation can’t house both Happ and 38-year-old C.C. Sabathia. Coming off his second-shortest start of the season, Sabathia allowed seven hits and five runs (four earned) in three innings while striking out four and walking two.
While Sabathia has been his typical bulldog-self this season, gutting out a 7-6 record, 3.54 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 124 K’s in 134.2 innings, the Yankee rotation needs to get younger.
The organization will need to decide if top pitching prospects Justus Sheffield, Jonathan Loaisiga and Chance Adams are big league ready — in addition to potentially pursuing a free agent like Patrick Corbin (10-5 with a 3.06 ERA, 1.013 WHIP and 214:41 K:BB ratio in 173.2 innings.
Naturally, Corbin will come with a higher price tag than re-signing Happ or Sabathia — but at 29, with only six years of big league wear and tear on his highly-effective left arm, it’s understandable.
With Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka as the only definitive starters for next season, the Yankees will likely let recent acquisition Lance Lynn walk, before deciding what to do with Sonny Gray, who is entering his final year of arbitration eligibility.