Ken Rosenthal made a rare blunder this morning when he reported that the Yankees and free agent lefty JA Happ had come to an agreement on a three-year deal. He soon backtracked saying that they seemed to be heading in that direction, but nothing is yet decided.
There's been kind of a flurry of conflicting reports on this thing. We heard that Happ and the Yankees are close and it's inevitable and we've also heard that Happ has several offers and whoever caves on offering him the third year of a deal will earn his services.
It's been a really weird day with this story. I don't know what to believe. Joel Sherman seemed to indicate that Happ is expected to be back in some shape or form, so I guess I'll take his word for it.
I don't love going over two years for Happ, but I think I'll live with it, depending on the dollar figure or the distribution of salaries (front-loaded or back-loaded). If it's what we expect in the Rich Hill range (3 years, $48 million), I think that's fine. Above that is a bit too much, but if it's 3 years and $45ish million then that's probably fine.
$15 million per year for a proven, consistent starter in Happ is reasonable by me. The dud he threw in Game 1 doesn't concern me too much.
If he is back, the rotation is back to having five pitchers, so it's technically complete and looks something like this:
- Luis Severino
- James Paxton
- Masahiro Tanaka
- JA Happ
- CC Sabathia
Plus Jordan Montgomery will be back in like June or July so that's a factor.
Bringing back Happ in no way means they're out on acquiring an ace like Kluber (or Syndergaard or Bauer or Bumgarner). We've seen too many reports saying they would be interested in getting one of those guys PLUS Happ for me to believe that. I think, if anything, it gives them more leverage on those moves since they now don't technically need one of those starters.
All this speculation is, of course, contingent on actually signing Happ. We'll see if that happens soon.