Yankee News/Rumors: Cash to Happ you’re #5, Ripped Bombers, and Yankees expect more from never aging Brett Gardner!

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

A Daily look at a summary of News and Rumors of interest for New York Yankees fans!

J.A. Happ: The New York Yankees answered a long postseason question yesterday, who will hold the number 5 spot in the starting rotation.  Most sources and many fans were sure it was going to be Jordan Montgomery, but it looks as though that might not be the case.  In a reported conversation, New York Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman had with the YES Network’s Meredith Marakovitz, Cashman indicated that they were going to make the best of their failure to move J.A. Happ off the payroll.

Cashman believes/hopes that Happ can return to the pitcher they saw when they traded for him late in the 2018 season from the Toronto Blue Jays.  Happ went 7-0 in 11 starts for the Yankees, and they handed him a two-year $34MM contract.  Enter 2018, Happ was inconsistent and struggled to a 12-8 record.  With the Yankees spending big for Gerrit Cole and their hopes dashed on Happ, they tried to trade him.  With $17MM owed for 2020, clubs didn’t want to take on that burden, which is probably more why they have hope more than a belief that Happ can return to his previous form.  After a few games, if things don’t work out, Jordon Montgomery is standing in the wings with ball and glove in hand.

Ripped Yankees:   What’s going on?  The Internet seems to be abuzz with photos of “Baby Bombers” coming out of the woodwork looking unbelievably ripped and fit.  Third baseman Andujar and shortstop Gleyber Torres have appeared in photos at the gym together looking very ready to perform in spring training that is only weeks away.  In another photo, an almost unrecognizable Gary Sanchez looks slimmed and prepared to be a Marvel superhero.  Late yesterday I saw a very muscular Giancarlo Stanton lifting weights. Oh, wait, those aren’t weights that’s supermodel Adriana Lima being bench pressed by the Yankee outfielder. It looks likes many Yankees haven’t been sitting around during the break but instead getting in the best possible shape for the 2020 season.

Brett Gardner:  Everyone knows Brett Gardner has never been a long ball guy, well that is until his break-out performance in the 2019 season that got him a new $12.5MM one year contract.   Next week “Gardy” will receive a $2MM signing bonus and will earn $8.5MM for the season.  The agreement also has a Yankee $10MM option for 2021 and a $2.5MM buy out.  Gardner, the 36-year-old, never seems to age.

Last year he was one of only two Yankees not to be on the IL.  He is just as fast and performs just as well as he ever has.  The big plus for the Yankees is his power.  Never the long ball hitter he has hit more home runs in the last three years than he did in the previous nine years topping it out at 28 last year.   The Yankees have no reason to believe he will hit less than 20 this season.  Last year Brett lost his leadoff spot to superstar DJ LeMahieu and was anywhere between 3rd and 9th in the lineup.  With the “Fearsome Foursome” in the 2-5 spot in the lineup and Gardner late in the lineup, it makes the Yankee’s lineup one of the scariest in baseball.