The New York Yankees will be saying goodbye to some rostered players following 2020.
After what felt like 26 years of pent-up emotion, post-1994 strike, the MLBPA and MLB are finally, sort of, kind of approaching what may or may not be a deal. And this framework could still fall through. And I could still punt a throw pillow into the Hudson River. Lots can happen.
But, pushing all complications aside for a brief second, it does appear we’re getting closer to a shortened 2020 season, without ample opportunity for many Yankees depth pieces to prove themselves or rise up a few levels in the pecking order. Additionally, most there are several Yankee free agents of varying importance who’ll be hitting the market, from Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton to The Machine LeMahieu himself.
So who comes out of this 2020 power struggle on the bottom? Unfortunately, these Yankees are unlikely to return in 2021.
3. JA Happ, Yankees LHP
There’s likely no room for JA Happ on the 2021 New York Yankees.
If the MLBPA and MLB ownership come to their senses and conclude on a 65-ish-game 2020 season, then unfortunately, JA Happ has no chance of attaining the innings milestone that he so sneakily added to his most recent contract. Unless he throws nearly every inning of every game, the Happster’s not throwing 165 innings in 2020 — and that’s just fine!
That being said, the Yankees’ fourth starter will be 38 years old when next offseason begins, and New York probably wanted a way out of that escalating contract regardless, with Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton still to pay.
Happ’s stretch run in 2018 won’t be forgotten, but now that it’s not a requirement, he probably doesn’t have a place on the 2020 team.