Yankees: JA Happ Contract Update Changes Everything for 2021 Season

Yankees LHP JA Happ (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Yankees LHP JA Happ (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The update to JA Happ’s contract means the Yankees will have a lot to sort out before 2021.

Any New York Yankees fans in need of a win on the heels of the mysterious updates regarding Aaron Judge’s stiff neck? Well, you might be in luck, depending on how you feel about JA Happ.

The latest details of the agreement between MLB and the players’ association have been released and they confirmed a member of New York’s starting rotation now has a good chance at returning next season.

Thanks to the implementation of the 60-game season, it was going to be impossible for Happ to meet the requirements to trigger his 2021 vesting option. The 37-year-old vet previously needed to start 27 games or pitch 165 innings to activate a $17 million contract for 2021.

Now, however, Happ will be required to start just 10 games or pitch 61.1 innings to initiate the extra year.

It’s honestly hard to say if this should be viewed as good or bad news.

With James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka needing new deals, the Yankees were probably looking for a way out of paying Happ next year anyway. Then again, the 2018 All-Star could be a valuable asset at the end of the rotation if he could parlay his dominance during the stretch run in 2018 throughout a full season.

New York was most definitely planning to incorporate No. 3 prospect Deivi Garcia in some form in 2021, but this update to Happ’s deal changes everything.

The injury to Luis Severino, who underwent Tommy John surgery in February, and the possibility of Tanaka missing the start of the season means that Happ will begin the year in the rotation and have a really good chance at fulfilling the qualifications of his contract, assuming the two sides don’t change anything, which Sherman notes is a possibility.

Now, barring significant alterations, the Yankees’ hands will be tied.

Next. Aaron Boone Provides Health Update on Aaron Judge. dark