Yankees fans should be praying JA Happ signs with Toronto
By Adam Weinrib
JA Happ is reportedly getting interest from the Toronto Blue Jays, his old team. As far as Yankees fans are concerned, that’s the good stuff.
Usually, as a Yankees fan, writer, and sweater of the small stuff, I’m overly cautious.
I never want to make big, sweeping declarations or tempt the Sports Gods because I know how fickle they can be. I never start writing about, or make any reference to, a win over the Red Sox until the very last out is recorded because I know Jonathan Holder has the ability to make any 10-2 game interesting, and I know what Boston Energy can do.
I’m very careful. I’m well aware of my words coming back to haunt me.
That being said, if JA Happ shows the same amount of interest in the Toronto Blue Jays that they’re reportedly showing in him and agrees to go North of the Border (well, pending COVID-19), we will never regret that for one single second. It will, in fact, be very hilarious.
Inexplicably, we’ve gotten more updates about Happ’s potential destinations so far this offseason (the Angels, too?) than DJ LeMahieu’s, which is almost unforgivable.
Though his year-end numbers will fool you, Happ was extremely ineffective in New York following his playoff failure at Fenway Park in 2018, and hasn’t figured out how to avoid the gopher ball since the construction of the baseball changed. He also has no idea what to do with prosperity, and spotting him a 4-0 or 5-0 lead often felt like a death sentence.
The Blue Jays are poised to be either a developing thorn in the Yankees’ side or a bonafide American League East threat for the better part of the next decade, and if they’re interested in spending (as they’ve indicated), that’s definitely something the Yanks should be afraid of.
Something they shouldn’t be afraid of? Happ tying up a rival’s payroll space.
The best day of 2020 was when it was revealed that, despite his complaining, Happ’s much-messed-with option hadn’t vested, and he really would be free at season’s end.
Did the Yankees manipulate his innings to get him out of the Bronx, or did they manipulate his innings because he wasn’t good? Does it really matter?
If Happ feels at home in Toronto, he should certainly feel free to go there. And you know what? If he’s going to be in Toronto, he might as well negotiate a prohibitive set of potential contract shackles that, if he hits his goals, will keep him in town through 2023. Just as a treat. It’s only fair.