With New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ boosting a 5.16 ERA after an ugly outing against the lowly Baltimore Orioles, shock waves were sent through the organization that reinforcements might be appropriate. Despite the Yankees sneaking out a win in the ninth inning off the bat of catcher Gary Sanchez, the reality is Happ can’t be trusted.
After signing a two-year, $34 million deal with the Bombers, he was planted in the starting rotation as a top three option. He has done nothing but disappoint so far, and at 36-years-old, signing him in the first place might’ve been an optimistic stretch.
The New York Yankees might be forced to look at free agent pitchers:
Luckily, there are several options on the free agent market, one of which is former Astros star, Dallas Keuchel. The seven-year veteran is coming off a season with a 3.74 ERA and 12 wins. He’s just two years removed from an impressive 14 win seasons where he boasted a 2.90 ERA.
The Yanks could elect to scoop him up but he’s looking for a multi-year deal, similar to Happ. Two years, $35 million might get the job done, but I’m not convinced the Bombers feel they need to bring in more expensive talent given the success they’ve had with their current roster.
However, with James Paxton injured, Masahiro Tanaka getting hit in the foot by a pitch (he wasn’t injured badly), and Luis Severino out until at least June, it might be wise to bring in a talented option that can provide quality starts immediately.
Happ, currently, has a 1.299 WHIP and 6.9K/9 over 52.1 innings. Is it too early to hit the panic button? Possibly, but you can’t be too careful when a majority of the team is hurting with injuries. When you factor in age for guys like CC Sabathia and Happ, it presents even more concern.
Could GM Brian Cashman go out and snag a pitcher like Keuchel? Highly unlikely, but he could be forced into it if the injury bug strikes again.