New York Yankees: The top four worst contracts on the current roster
J.A. Happ is not only the most overpaid pitcher on the Yankees roster but he’s also one of the most overpaid pitchers in all of baseball. Last season he made $17M and posted a 12-8 record with a 4.91 ERA and allowed a career-high 34 home runs. He finished the season strong in September and pitch well in the postseason, but overall it was a lousy campaign for the veteran left-hander.
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This season he’s set to make another $17M and if he makes 27 or more starts or throws at least 165 innings he can trigger a vesting option for the same amount again in 2021. After his performance last season the Yankees would likely prevent him from reaching those totals. Especially now that the season is delayed indefinitely and will likely be shortened whenever it begins.
Happ is a decent back end of the rotation option who’s getting paid like a top of the rotation caliber starter. He was great for New York after he was acquired in 2018 but to give him a big-money deal at his age was a big mistake and I’m sure it’s a decision the front office now regrets.
Happ’s contract won’t hurt the Yankees long term like the deals given to Sevy and Hicks might but it was a huge overpay for a pitcher who’s clearly well past his prime. That being said the Yankees will need him this season with Sevy out and Domingo German serving a suspension. He was having a terrific spring training before MLB suspended operations so hopefully, he can pick up where left off when play resumes and carry that success over into the regular season.