New York Yankees: JA Happ Won’t Be Traded, Will Be Fifth Starter

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

In a sit-down interview with the YES Network, New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman stated that JA Happ will not be traded and that he will likely be the fifth starter in 2020.

Rumors were previously circulating that Happ had a strong possibility of being traded and in talks of being a part of a trade to get Brewers reliever, Josh Hader. This means that Jordan Montgomery will be a long reliever in 2020.

Happ, 38, is signed through 2020 with a vesting option for 2021. He was 12-8 with a 4.91 ERA in 2019. The lefty struck out 140 batters in 161.1 innings in his first full season with the Yankees. He was acquired in a 2018 trade with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Everyone is hoping that Happ can bounce back and return to his usual self. He had sub-four ERA’s from 2015-2018, and that’s all they need from him.

Happ will have to develop some more off-speed pitches to pitch well in 2020. His velocity dipped a bit in 2019, which was expected with his age. When he does throw his fastballs, he needs to locate them a bit better. A career-high 34 home runs were hit off him, in part being the new age of baseball, but also just not pitching how he should be.

However, if he is struggling in Spring Training and Jordan Montgomery is pitching well, it’s still possible that Montgomery could be the fifth starter. Things can change very quickly, and the team will make the switch if they see fit.

Happ will need to make his presence felt in Spring Training to hold onto the fifth spot. Nothing will be handed to him.