(Yes I know, lock me away for this god awful pun…)
One of the New York Yankees‘ primary offseason needs was to fortify their starting pitching. With the tale of two halves for Luis Severino, the UCL injury to Jordan Montgomery, the age and durabilityÂ of C.C. Sabathia, and the inconsistency of Sonny Gray, the bombers’ rotation saw up and down results throughout 2018. To counter this going into 2019, the Yankees resigned J.A. Happ, who, the Yankees acquired from Toronto at last year’s trade deadline.
2018 Stats (TOR & NYY):
17-6, 3.65 ERA, 31 Starts, 193 SO, 177.2 IP, 1.131 WHIP, 3.4 WAR
Happ started 2018 in Toronto, being named the Opening Day starter in place of Marcus Stroman against the bombers. Fast forward to July, where Happ is sent to the Bronx for prospect Billy McKinney and Brandon Drury. After that, Happ was excellent, posting a 7-0 record and a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts. His luck would run out in Game 1 of the ALDS against Boston, giving up five earned runs in only two innings.
In addition to his strong couple months in the Bronx, Happ had an excellent 2018, posting 193 strikeouts and a 9.8 K/9 Ratio, both career highs. Now he’s back in pinstripes on a two year, $34 million deal, which comes with an option for 2021.
The biggest question with Happ, now 36, is if he can continue to produce as he gets older. For the past few years, he has been continually producing at a high level, culminatingÂ with his first ever all-star selection last year. If he can, along with several other pitchers producing similar results, the Yankees could find themselves finally going back to the World Series.