The New York Yankees have decided to re-sign veteran pitcher, J.A. Happ, to a three-year contract extension.
Neither side has confirmed the deal, but the last phase is reportedly pending a physical from Happ. The amount of the contract hasn't been revealed yet either, but we do know for sure that the Yankees were the only team to offer him that extra year on the contract.
It had been reported by multiple sources that Happ was willing to wait all off-season for that third year on his contract. The Yankees also weren't the only team seriously interested in Happ's services.
#Yankees in agreement with free-agent left-hander J.A. Happ, pending a physical, sources tell The Athletic. Believed to be three-year deal.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 12, 2018
Two of his former teams, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies had serious interest in the 36-year-old. He was drafted by the Phillies back in the third round of the 2004 MLB draft.
He spent 2007 to 2010 with the Phillies. Then he had two separate stints with the Blue Jays. The first one ran from 2012 to 2014, where he pitched to a four-plus ERA in each of those seasons.
Then the second tenure he spent with them, it was like he was a completely different player. That tenure ran from 2016 to midway through of last season. During that time, he averaged a mid-three ERA, and averaged 14 wins per season.
In eleven games with the Yankees last season, Happ recorded seven wins with a 2.69 ERA and a 1.052 WHIP. He was a player that helped the Yankees reach the postseason, which is why they wanted to bring him back.
The Yankees also believe in him that much to be willing to give him that third year of length in his contract. One thing is for sure tho, the Yankees rotation is better than it was a season ago.
Bringing back Happ along with the acquisition of James Paxton, shows the Yankees have done a very good job at upgrading their starting rotation. Their expected 2019 starting rotation is expected to look as follows; Paxton, Luis Severino, Happ, Masahiro Tanaka, and the veteran CC Sabathia.
This signing gives the Yankees an upgrade at a position they desperately needed. They went into this off-season knowing they had to make some moves to make their pitching better, in order to be able to compete against the World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox.
WHAT THIS MEANS
This move means that the Yankees have improved in an area where they were very thin at going into this off-season. It showed during the playoffs last season that they were very thin at that position.
Which is why they traded for Paxton and now re-signed Happ. They can now turn their focus on rebuilding their bullpen, and finding a fill-in until Didi Gregorius returns from Tommy John surgery.