With the New York Yankees in dire need of pitching help for the 2019 campaign, securing several free agents was a necessity. GM Brian Cashman has already managed to trade for Mariners ace, James Paxton.
Now, Cashman has elected to retain J.A. Happ, the Yankees’ ace for the second-half of the 2018 season after Luis Severino struggled after the All-Star break.
Happ was brought over from the Blue Jays, who was 7-0 down the stretch, helping the Yankees secure a playoff spot. He recorded a 2.69 ERA in 63.2 inning with 63 strikeouts and 16 walks.
Was Happ the primary option for the New York Yankees?
The Yankees were reportedly seeking the signature of star pitcher Patrick Corbin, but refused to offer him a six-year deal, which the Washington Nationals were willing to accept. $140 million and six-years later, Corbin will be pitching for the Nationals.
His slipping away put the Yankees in a peculiar situation, as they were still in dire need of starting pitchers. Bringing back Happ was a solid move, and unfortunately a forced one.
The lefty pitcher will join an improved rotation of Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Paxton, and Happ. A solid starting group nonetheless.
Expect the Yankees to begin looking for relief pitchers and to heavily pursue Manny Machado. Ensuring they had solid pitching before going all-in on a big bat was essential.