The New York Yankees have reportedly struck a deal with former starting pitcher J.A. Happ, worth around $34 million over two years with a third-year option. Happ was brought over from the Blue Jays mid-season in 2018, recording a 7-0 record to help the Yankees secure a playoff spot in the Wild Card. They went on to beat the Oakland Athletics and lose to the Boston Red Sox in the ensuing round.
Over 63.2 inning in New York, Happ earned a 2.69 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 16 walks. His influence was significant and with Patrick Corbin slipping away in free agency, he was atop the crop in regard to starting pitching.
Moving forward, the Yankees are now all-in on Manny Machado according to sources. GM Brian Cashman recently hinted at the fact that Bryce Harper wouldn’t make sense with the Bombers, given he would be playing first-base. Machado has the better bat regardless.
In 709 plate appearances with the Orioles and Dodgers in 2018, Machado struck out just 104 times, seeing himself to a .297 batting average. Harper had about the same number of plate appearances but struck out 169 times and had a .249 batting average.
It’s safe to say Machado would be the better option here, and not just because he’s a more effective hitter. The infielder would likely play third-base, which opens up a potential trade including Miguel Andujar. We recently reviewed if letting Andujar walk in a deal including Noah Syndergaard made sense, and if the Yankees can secure Machado’s signature, letting the young star go would be justified.