Yankees: 5 players who could be traded this offseason
SP JA Happ
I might be going out on a limb here but I think there’s a chance J.A. Happ could be traded this offseason. The veteran left-hander was great for the Yankees in 2018 but after resigning with the club last offseason he really struggled in the first year of his two-year, $34M deal. In 31 games (30 starts) Happ went 12-8 with a 4.91 ERA and 140 K’s in 161.1 IP. He had an opponent batting average of .258, a 1.30 WHIP and gave up a career-high 34 home runs.
Happ finished the year pitching his best with a 1.65 ERA in September and a 2.45 ERA in the postseason, but that wasn’t enough to make fans forget about how poorly he pitched for the first six months of the season. Happ looked like a pitcher on the decline throughout 2019 so I don’t think anyone is expecting him to be much better next year in what will be his age-37 season.
The Yankees obviously need to improve their starting rotation this offseason which is going to be hard to do if they can’t find an upgrade for Happ. Hopefully, they can go out and sign another ace like Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg but if they can’t I’m sure a lot of fans would much rather see his spot go to someone on the rise like a Jordan Montgomery, Mike King or Deivi Garcia. All three of them should be in the mix to win a rotation spot next spring and have much more upside than Happ.
Trading Happ probably won’t be easy because he’s due to make $17M next season, but he could still be a valuable rotation piece for a team in need of fourth or fifth starter. He can still eat a lot of innings and be a solid veteran presence. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Happ is back with the Yanks next season, especially when you consider the uncertainty surrounding Domingo German’s future with the club.
Although, if they can put together a rotation with five starters who are better than him this offseason they should eat some of the money owed to him and trade him.