New York Yankees: Latest on Josh Hader & J.A. Happ

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

A month ago, the hot stove was cooking for the New York Yankees. The Yankees had agreed to terms with Gerrit Cole and Brett Gardner, and they were hot on the trail for star reliever Josh Hader. In addition to looking to acquire Hader, they were talking with multiple clubs about trading starting pitcher J.A. Happ. So, what has happened in the last month? The Yankees have been very quiet, and all talks that they had going on have seemed to cool. I’ve reached out to a few folks to see if I could get a read on what is going on in the world of the New York Yankees.

What’s up with Josh Hader?

Let’s start with the Josh Hader rumors. Empire Sports was reporting that the Yankees were “Aggressive” in their pursuit of Josh Hader a few weeks ago. That information came from sources close to the Brewers organization. Various reports in the mainstream media were linking Josh Hader to the Yankees.

Well, the Yankees were aggressive, but mostly have backed away from the poker table with the Brewers. What I mean by that is they have let the Brewers know where they would go to acquire him and scooted back from the table after laying those cards down.

The two teams discussed Miguel Andujar, Deivi Garcia, and multiple other prospects, but it’s not known what offers, if any, Cashman put up for Hader. Cashman is known for being a tough negotiator and usually only offers something when he’s really serious, whether it be a trade offer or a free agent contract. He often speaks in parameters instead of solid pieces.

I think another thing that has stalled the Josh Hader talks is his arbitration hearing. Hader is a super two player who filed for a record, $6.4 million, while the Brewers came in at $4.1 million. That is a considerable gap, and many teams backed away without knowing precisely what Hader will be making next year. Remember, the Brewers have never needed to trade Hader but were entertaining offers because of the haul that they could get for him considering his four years of club control.

The Brewers still have holes on their roster, but not as many as they did a month ago, making the deal less and less likely. I think after Hader’s salary is determined, you will see teams revisit the Hader discussions, but the sources I spoke to in Milwaukee, who were once confident he would get traded, now believe he will likely start the season in Milwaukee.

Is Happ going to be a Yankee in 2020?

In my first article with Empire Sports, I talked about how the Yankees trading J.A. Happ was inevitable. J.A. Happ is set to make a whopping $17 million this upcoming season after his awful 2019 season. He was so bad that he didn’t even make one start in the postseason for the New York Yankees. J.A. Happ is a solid veteran pitcher, but he is not worth the $17 million he is owed in 2020.

The Yankees have been exploring deals all offseason with teams to see if they could get anyone to take on his salary in 2020. The Yankees payroll is close to $260 million, which is over the third luxury tax threshold. From what I can tell, the Yankees have kept dialogue alive with multiple clubs about J.A. Happ.

However, teams are very reluctant to take on the money that Happ is owed, and they are just in their caution. The Yankees would only get someone to take Happ’s full contract if they attached a top prospect with him. At one point, it looked like the Yankees might be willing to do that, but it has become apparent that they are not enthusiastic about that option.

I personally still believe that Happ will get traded before the season starts. The trade could come in the next couple of weeks, or it could occur during the final week of Spring Training. I think the Yankees envision Jordan Montgomery as their fifth starter for 2020 behind Cole, Severino, Paxton, and Tanaka. Time will tell if Happ is still on the team, but if the Yankees do hold onto Happ, you can bet they will manipulate his innings, so his $17 million option does not vest for 2021.

New York Yankees Trade Debate: Andujar & Garcia For Josh Hader

The hot stove has been cooking this trade rumor up for weeks now. The New York Yankees have been after Josh Hader and have been linked to him since just before the Winter Meetings ended in early December. Since then the Brewers and the Yankees have remained engaged, and the Yankees have appeared aggressive in their pursuit of Josh Hader. Now, we don’t know exactly what they have offered up until this point, but we do know that they’ve tried to put together packages for Hader.  Jon Heyman has suggested that Miguel Andujar could be the centerpiece if the trade was to happen. Yankees GM Brian Cashman has shown reluctance to deal top pitching prospect Deivi Garcia, but from what I’ve understood in the discussions, Garcia is not “Untouchable“. Yankee fans have been sounding off on this potential trade for weeks with passionate people on both sides of the fence. So with that in mind, let’s dive into both sides of the trade debate where the Yankees would be receiving Josh Hader and the Brewers would be receiving a prospect package headlined by Miguel Andujar and Deivi Garcia.


Josh Hader has been historically good over his first three seasons. Hader has a career ERA of 2.42 and is averaging an astonishing 15.3 strikeouts per nine innings while winning back to back Trevor Hoffman awards (Baseball Reference). Hader had a .806 WHIP last year which is lower than any season current Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has had in his career. Simple point here: Josh Hader is an absolute stud. I have always been in the camp that you should always trade away prospects for sure things and Josh Hader is a sure thing. Hader is arguably the best reliever in baseball and he comes with four years of club control. The Yankees will have more control over Hader than they have over any reliever they currently have on the active roster. Miguel Andujar is great but there really doesn’t seem to be a place for him on this team right now. Gio Urshela came out of nowhere last year and took over the third base position. He matched Andujar’s ability at the plate while showing off MUCH better defensive skills. With the emergence of Urshela, Andujar becomes expendable. Deivi Garcia is currently the Yankees #1 overall prospect. He has shown flashes of brilliance but he does come with a few flaws. His 5’9, 160 LBS frame gives scouts a lot of concerns over his future as a starter. There are scouts that believe he’s overrated as a prospect and think he projects to be a bullpen arm long-term. The Yankees had the opportunity a couple of years ago to acquire Gerrit Cole but turned down the deal when the Pirates asked for Miguel Andujar and Chance Adams. Josh Hader is not Gerrit Cole, but he is the best reliever in the game. The Yankees are set with their rotation moving forward and Miguel Andujar is expendable, you have to make that deal if that’s the request.

No Deal

Josh Hader has been historically good, but his arm has been used a lot over the past couple of seasons. 168 innings to be exact if you include the Postseason. He also comes with a lot of baggage and one has to wonder how he would transition to the pressure cooker that is New York. If the Yankees made the deal for Hader, he wouldn’t have the pressure of being the only big time guy in the bullpen. But, he would have a lot of pressure put on him due to the price that it would take to acquire him. People forget just how good Miguel Andujar was back in 2018. From an offensive perspective, you could very well say he was the best hitter the Yankees had as he broke Joe DiMaggio’s rookie double record. Yes, he was historically bad defensively, but Andujar is young and very athletic. There is no reason to think he can’t improve his defense over time. If he can get to just an average level defensively, you are looking at an all-star third basemen given his hitting ability. Moving on to Deivi Garcia. As mentioned above, there are some concerns with Deivi Garcia and some scouts believe he’s not as good as his ranking. However, you don’t get to be the Yankees top prospect by chance. At just 20 years old, Garcia has quickly risen through the Yankees farm system to AAA. He’s got one of the best curveballs in all the minor leagues with an incredibly high spin rate. He has a explosive fastball that can touch the mid 90’s. With Garcia, you’re not looking at an ace level pitcher, but you are looking at a guy who can be a really solid middle of the rotation kind of arm. If the rotation doesn’t work out, he looks primed to be a dominant relief pitcher. Who knows, maybe Garcia could be just as dominant out of the bullpen as Josh Hader is now. If he transitions to the pen, Garcia could lean on his best two pitches, his fastball and curveball. That two-pitch mix could be lethal out of the pen. Turning down this deal would be banking on potential, but it might be potential that is too good to just trade away even if the piece coming back is as good as Josh Hader.

To me, the Yankees are in a great position in these trade talks. They would love to add a guy like Josh Hader who would just stack the deck for them in 2020. However, they might already have the best bullpen in baseball without Josh Hader so it makes him a luxury item and not a necessity. In my opinion, both Andujar and Garcia are expendable pieces looking at the way the Yankees are setup moving forward. Andujar is currently behind Urshela and I’m not convinced Garcia will go ahead of Domingo German and/or Jordan Montgomery for a rotation spot after the 2020 season. Now, the Yankees would still likely have to add another piece to make this deal, but the pieces would not be as significant as Andujar and Garcia. If it was up to me, I’d pull the trigger on this deal due to the Yankees lack of World Series success over the last decade. Hader would just be another piece to put them over the top. However, that is just my opinion. In all honesty, I really don’t think there is a wrong answer in this debate.

New York Yankees news, rumors: Yanks make changes to improve player health

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

One of the biggest concerns the New York Yankees faced in 2019 was player health and the longevity of individual success. A majority of the outfield was plagued with the injury bug, as Aaron Judge missed significant time, Giancarlo Stanton remained sidelined for virtually the entire season, and Aaron Hicks is recovering from Tommy John surgery. Clearly, whatever the Yankees were doing in the health and wellness department was wayward, as the team broke the record for most time spent on the injured list by a large margin.

Due to the high number of injuries, the Bombers had no choice but to fire Matt Krause, who served as the team’s director of strength and conditioning since 2014. With 30 players spending time on the injured list last season, a move needed to be made.

However, the emergence of several reserve options helped drag the team to 103 total wins and an ALCS appearance. Aside from the outfield, the pitching was hit by the bug as well as the infield. Ace Luis Severino and relief arm Dellin Betances both picked up shoulder injuries in spring training, with the latter tearing his Achilles in his first action of the season on September 15.

More news and rumors from the New York Yankees:

I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but the Josh Hader talks continue. Of course, we will update you on any urgent news, but as of now, things are progressing slowly. The latest information indicates that the Brewers are willing to drop their price a bit, but they’re keen on adding Miguel Andujar and a quality prospect at the very least.

The Yankees’ No. 1 pitching prospect, Deivi Garcia, could be an option in a potential trade, as scouts have indicated that his ceiling might not be as high as some may think.

In all honesty, I don’t understand the hype. I’ve seen him pitch a few times and the stuff just doesn’t grade out to be a top of the line starter. Maybe with time he can develop since he’s really young, but I just don’t see top arm talent when I see him.”

With the stuff he currently has, he’s projecting to be a back-end starter. I think he could be good at the MLB level, but nothing special.

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What the Yankees Should Learn from the Mets About Josh Hader

New York Yankees, Josha Hader

The Yankees offseason is now squarely rooted in relief pitcher, Josh Hader, of the Milwaukee Brewers. Hader is going to come with a hefty price tag, and, no, it’s not the generic “Yankee tax.” It’s “The Brewers know what they have, and they know everyone wants him. Why wouldn’t they ask for a king’s ransom for a guy who’s trade value is at ITS HIGHEST?!”

The Mets Went for Hader. Here’s What The Brewers Wanted

The Mets reportedly made a play for Josh Hader. The Brewers wanted first baseman Dominic Smith (.282/.355/.525 with 11 home runs in 89 games last season), Steven Matz (who plays a crucial part in the Mets rotation moving forward), and two “highly regarded prospects.” Could have been Ronny Mauricio, could have been Brett Baty, could have been Fransisco Alvarez, it could have been anyone. But with that kind of offer on the table, the Mets (understandably) went with Dellin Betances. 

Yankees Fans Should Take Note of This

The Brewers weren’t interested in Edwin Diaz, whom the Mets would probably like to unload after his abysmal 2019. They didn’t go for mediocre players who are, at best, average or over the hill. They didn’t go for guys who could be on the big club but aren’t because there isn’t room. They went for guys who are both A) Highly regarded, and B) Major League Ready.

That merely means offering Miguel Andujar, or Gio Urshela won’t cut it. And they won’t take Clint Frazier either because, with an outfield of Yelich, Cain, and former Yankee Ben Gamel, Frazier would downgrade their outfield. JA Happ wouldn’t interest them; they’d want Devi Garcia to go with the third baseman of their choice. They’d also want Johnathan Loaisiga, or Albert Abreu, as well as Estevan Florial, or Clarke Shmidt. 

The Brewers want a haul for one relief pitcher. We’re stocked to the gils with talent, and trading for a player shouldn’t require giving it all up. The Yankees realistically don’t need Hader. His effectiveness may plummet due to the fact he’s a National League pitcher, and his capabilities won’t fool American League hitters as much. 

If the Yankees need Hader, wait until mid-March to pull this trade. Striking when the value of a player is low makes more sense than giving up the farm for a relief arm that’s not a necessity. This only portrays the desperation of oner, Hal Steinbrenner.

New York Yankees: Is Deivi Garcia just hype?

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

For all New York Yankees fans, we are no stranger to being fed information about prospects that makes us all believe they are going to be superstars. Remember when Chance Adams was the next great Yankees pitcher? Yes, the same Chance Adam’s that was DFA’d and traded to Kansas City, was once considered a lock to be the next great Yankees pitcher. Let’s also go back to the next great Yankee lefty Justus Sheffield. Sheffield was once the top Yankees pitching prospect, but when New York needed pitching help, they never called him up for a significant look in 2018. Fast-forward a month after the season was over and he was traded for James Paxton. In his first true look at big league action in 2019, Sheffield posted an abysmal 5.50 ERA in seven starts. So the question becomes, is Deivi Garcia the next great Yankees pitcher, or is he just a product of the New York Yankees Hype Machine?

I reported a couple of days ago that Deivi Garcia was not “Untouchable” in Josh Hader talks according to sources close to the situation in Milwaukee. My Twitter was filled with comments about how there’s no chance the Yankees would move Garcia for Hader. I started wondering to myself, “If he’s as good as the fan base says, why is he on the table in trade talks according to the folks in Milwaukee?” I talked with a couple of scouts over the last couple of days to get a better picture on Deivi Garcia the prospect.

Scouts Take on Deivi Garcia

“In all honesty, I don’t understand the hype. I’ve seen him pitch a few times and the stuff just doesn’t grade out to be a top of the line starter. Maybe with time he can develop since he’s really young, but I just don’t see top arm talent when I see him.”

“With the stuff he currently has, he’s projecting to be a back-end starter. I think he could be good at the MLB level, but nothing special.”

Dan Federico also got another take from a scout who called Deivi Garcia “Overrated”. To me, the New York Yankees are tremendous about hyping up their prospects. So much so, that I believe Brian Cashman himself has fallen victim to buying into the hype of his guys. Deivi Garcia is a good prospect, but there are many around the industry who just do not see him as a top of the line starter. If they can move him now when his stock is high for a piece that can help them win a championship next season, they should do it.

Yankees Plans Moving Forward

The Yankees are going to be faced with a decision next year on who to extend between James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka. They also have Jordan Montgomery coming back off injury to fill in the five spot of the rotation. Let’s say they go with Paxton on the extension and Montgomery has a great bounce-back season, they really only have one rotation spot to fill for the foreseeable future. The Yankees have plenty of internal arms that could fill that last spot of the rotation including: Domingo German, Jonathan Loaisiga, Clarke Schmidt, Albert Abreu, etc. Domingo German is coming off an incredible 2019 where he won 18 games, but his future is cloudy due to his pending suspension. When it comes to the other arms in the minors, one of the scouts I talked to actually likes and prefers Clarke Schmidt to Deivi Garcia.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but I believe that if the Yankees can get Josh Hader by including Deivi Garcia in a deal, they should make that deal happen. We are not talking about a Stephen Strasburg or Gerrit Cole type prospect here, as stated above, many scouts only see Garcia as a middle to back of the rotation kind of arm. Josh Hader is arguably the best reliever in all of baseball who the Yankees would have control over for the next four seasons. If the Brewers ask for Miguel Andujar (Who is very expendable) and Deivi Garica for Hader, I think the Yankees should pull the trigger. The time to win is now, it’s time to stop holding onto prospects instead of acquiring impactful MLB talent.

New York Yankees news, rumors: Is Deivi Garcia trade bait? Miguel Andujar health update

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

Trade proposals will be frequent this offseason, especially with New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman acquiring the green light to pursue all players. Owner Hal Steinbrenner is keen on bringing home a World Series title within the next two years, which attests to the massive Gerrit Cole contract. However, the Yanks still have a few holes on the roster that need to be plugged.

Losing both Dellin Betances and Nestor Cortes Jr. has opened up a void in the bullpen, one that could be filled by home-grown talents like Michael King or Deivi Garcia, but it seems as if Brewers’ Josh Hader entices Cashman. He has been extending different valued offers for the star relief arm, but the Brewers are reportedly asking for far too much — Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier, and a prospect.

More news and rumors from the New York Yankees:

The idea of floating Deivi Garcia as trade bait is something to consider, as his value might be higher now than it will be down the line. Realistically, Garcia, who’s the Yankees’ No. 1 pitching prospect, is a bit undersized, and some believe he’s a long-shot to develop into an ace. If that’s the conclusion Cashman comes to by word of his developmental agents, including him in a deal should be on the table.

Including the three pieces mentioned above for Hader, though, shouldn’t be an option. The Brewers should have their pick of Andujar or Frazier and potentially Garcia. Adding Hader to the mix would bring a 25-year-old pitcher in his prime with four years of team control remaining on his deal to the Bronx. His services would inevitably give the Yankees the advantage they need to make a serious run at the World Series in 2020.

Jon Heyman: Yankees remain interested in Josh Hader and could begin a package with 3B Miguel Andujar (Brewers don’t really have a set 3B). Interested teams still aren’t totally convinced Milwaukee would move the star closer though.

MLB Marathon: As previously reported, the #Yankees and #Brewers are talking Josh Hader trade. Increasingly likely Hader ends up in the Bronx.

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New York Yankees news, rumors: Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar trade pieces for Josh Hader

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

Settling with Gerrit Cole would be the easy way out of free agency for the New York Yankees, but general manager Brian Cashman has been given the green light to pursue all targets that would contribute to the further success of the team.

The Yankees managed to climb to 103 wins on the backs of several reserve players like Mike Tauchman, Gio Urshela, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, and more. They don’t necessarily need to dive into more free agents or potential trade deals, but owner Hal Steinbrenner is keen on winning a World Series in the next two years. Giving up players that are sitting in a secondary role for starting talent makes sense at this point.

Do the New York Yankees have enough utility options?

Both Miguel Andujar and Clint Frazier are on the line to be traded to the Brewers for Josh Hader, which would bring one of the best relief pitchers to the Bronx. The Brewers are also asking for a top prospect, but Cashman isn’t keen on letting two starting level players and a prospect go for a relief pitcher.

MLB Marathon: Hader for Andujar and Frazier being discussed. #Brewers seeking one more top prospect to finish the deal. Cashman being a tough negotiator. 

However, Hader’s numbers are stellar, and at just 25-years-old, his value is sky-high. Factor in the four years of team control the Bombers would consume, and his influence would be massive.

Here are Hader’s #s from 2017 in relation to other relievers:

204 IP (13th)
2.42 ERA (8th)
2.74 FIP (13th)
.85 WHIP (1st)
.146 Opponent AVG (1st)
15.3 K/9 (2nd)

There’s no such thing as too much pitching, and with both Dellin Betances and Nestor Cortes Jr. departing, Cashman needs to inject more talent into the bullpen. Having multiple quality starters and bullpen arms would give the New York Yankees a better chance at making the World Series, and they don’t want to look back and regret not making a decision that would increase their chances.

Trading away Andujar and Frazier might be a lot, but would it be worth a World Series win in 2020?

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New York Yankees: Josh Hader Update

New York Yankees, Josha Hader

The New York Yankees have been talking with the Milwaukee Brewers for weeks on a trade for star reliever Josh Hader. I recently spoke with some sources close to the situation in Milwaukee, and they seem to believe that Hader is going to be traded this offseason.

So why are the Yankees so interested in Hader? The simple answer is control. Josh Hader would come with four years of team control, which would give the Yankees a ton of flexibility. Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino, Chad Green, and Tommy Kahnle would all hit free agency before Josh Hader. The Yankees are looking at this as an opportunity to secure arguably the best reliever in baseball who would also give them coverage if they were to lose any of those arms in free agency. The Yankees are also looking at this as a way to secure the most dominant paper roster in recent memory. If the Yankees would acquire Hader from the Brewers, they would arguably have the best lineup, starting rotation, and bullpen in all of baseball.

The Yankees Really Want Josh Hader

The Yankees do not need Josh Hader. The Yankees want Josh Hader. Sources told Empire Sports Media yesterday that the Yankees were aggressive in their push for Josh Hader. The same sources also believe that Milwaukee will deal him before Spring Training. Dan Federico reported of another “Informed” opinion that believes Josh Hader will end up in New York.

According to Jon Heyman, The Yankees have reportedly floated the idea of making Miguel Andujar the centerpiece of this deal. Andujar is coming off a lost season due to injury, but in his first full season back in 2018, he should have won the Rookie of the Year award in the American League when he set the Yankees franchise rookie record for doubles in a season at 47 (Baseball-Reference). The ole saying goes, “Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.” Well, I can tell you in this circumstance, there is a lot of smoke around Josh Hader and the New York Yankees. Time will tell if Josh Hader does get dealt, but if the news breaks that the star lefty is leaving Milwaukee, don’t be shocked if he’s heading to a barbershop close to Times Square.

Yankees rumors continue to indicate Josh Hader is coming to the Bronx

New York Yankees, Yankees, Brian Cashman

The Yankees haven’t hibernated this offseason like some of the bigger clubs in baseball. Instead, they have insisted on pursuing every big name with availability. They locked up the best pitcher in baseball, Gerrit Cole, for nearly a decade, and now they’re keen on securing one of the best relief pitchers.

After letting Dellin Betances walk in free agency to the Mets, the Bombers are curious about Brewers’ Josh Hader, who’s only 25-years-old and under four years of team control spanning until 2024. Hader recorded a 2.62 ERA last season, earning his second consecutive All-Star nod in just three years as a professional.

The Yankees would love to add a talent like Hader to their bullpen, but his services aren’t a necessity, more of a want. The team managed to log 103 wins last season without Dellin Betances featuring in any significant role, which would imply the Bombers don’t need to part with prospects and starting-caliber players for a player like Hader. Still, GM Brian Cashman is doing whatever it takes to win a World Series in 2020.

Rumors are continuing between the Yankees and Josh Hader:

Dan Federico: For what it’s worth, the same source that told me the Mets we’re pushing hard for Betances a couple of weeks ago told me on Friday that he still believed Josh Hader would end up a Yankee. An opinion, of course, but an informed one

MLB Marathon: As previously reported, the #Yankees and #Brewers are talking Josh Hader trade. Increasingly likely Hader ends up in the Bronx. #MLB

Consider these sources at your discretion, but with more and more people chiming in regarding Hader, the Yankees may be closing in on the elite closer. A decade of no World Series appearances has finally gotten to the psychic of owner Hal Steinbrenner, considering his lavish spending this offseason.

We will continue to update you on any progress made between the two sides and all of the relevant news out in the media. Enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season!

New York Yankees rumors: Trade package including Miguel Andujar

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

The New York Yankees just recently lost Dellin Betances to the Mets when they announced they picked him up off the free-agent market. Even though Betances will be rehabbing for the majority of the year, that was still a big loss.

The New York Yankees have been eyeing Josh Hader from the Milwalkee Brewers for a few weeks now. According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, a trade is possible that sends Miguel Andujar and a prospect to Milwalkee for Hader.

@JonHeyman on Twitter said this: Yankees remain interested in Josh Hader and could begin a package with 3B Miguel Andujar (Brewers don’t really have a set 3B). Interested teams still aren’t totally convinced Milwaukee would move the star closer though.

@NYYTalks said this about a potential trade: Yankees are willing to include 3B Miguel Andújar and top SP prospect Deivi Garcia in a deal for LHP Josh Hader…. problem is that the Brewers are still asking for at least one more top prospect such as Gil, Florial, or Schmidt for a deal to work out.

In my opinion, a trade with the Brewers that sends Andujar there and we get Hader makes a lot of sense for the Yankees. However, I think including Deivi Garcia would be giving up too much. There’s too much promise with how Garcia is expected to progress that I feel like the Yankees would be losing too much just to get a reliever in return.

I think trading away any other prospect in return for Hader would be good for the Yankees. Betances was a bigger loss than most people realize, and Hader would fill that missing piece easily.