J.A. Happ David Cone
Bruno Rouby, ESNY Graphics, Getty Images

Other than the arm for which each features, New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ can be the new David Cone. 

Josh Benjamin

Over the summer, I penned a piece on how the New York Yankees landing J.A. Happ drew an interesting parallel to the David Cone trade in 1995. Today, I am here to tell you he can be New York’s second coming of Cone.

Happ answered the bell and then some once he put on the pinstripes. He went 7-0 with a 2.57 ERA in 11 starts, finishing the year with an overall record of 17-6 with a 3.65 ERA. He faltered in the playoffs, allowing five runs in two innings against the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.

But that’s just one start, disheartening as it was given Happ’s usual dominance of Boston. He turns 36 on Friday and isn’t getting any younger, but often pitches as though he’s 26.

Make no mistake, Yankees fans. J.A. Happ is the new David Cone and needs to be re-signed. If similar results are achieved compared to Cone’s Yankee tenure, that’s already a win.

David Cone revisited

Before we go any further with Happ, let’s revisit the trade that brought Cone to New York. The Yankees acquired him from the Toronto Blue Jays at the 1995 trade deadline in exchange for three minor leaguers. Cone was 9-6 with a 3.38 ERA at the time and was everything the Yankees hoped he would be the moment he put on the uniform. The reigning AL Cy Young winner finished the year 9-2 with a 3.82 ERA and finished fourth in voting for the trophy.

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