J.A. Happ New York Yankees
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The New York Yankees surprised the baseball world by losing the bidding war for Patrick Corbin, but at least one expert thinks J.A. Happ is a better option.

Aaron Case

From the outside looking in, it appears the New York Yankees are playing it super safe with money this offseason. They seriously lowballed two of the top young free agent starters in Patrick Corbin and Nathan Eovaldi. And now it seems they’re turning to a cheaper, older J.A. Happ.

New York’s biggest move so far is a trade that netted James Paxton but relinquished top prospect Justus Sheffield.

former Rockies executive Dan O’Dowd told  Daily News reporter Justin Terranova that the Bombers’ are just being smart.

If you match up [J.A.] Happ’s quantitative numbers against Corbin’s, separate from the age, a pivot move to Happ could be a blessing for them in the long run. It won’t take six years or even four years to sign him probably. The Yankees can go in a variety of ways. They’ve got prospects to trade and pitching on the market and Happ was fantastic for them since the acquisition.

It’s true that Happ was a revelation after the Yankees acquired him from the Blue Jays in late July. The 36-year-old went 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA down the stretch, helping bring the wild card game to the Bronx.

The problem is that once he got on the mound in the playoffs, he fell apart. His start in the opening game of the ALDS was a dud, as he surrendered five runs in only two innings.

The problem is that the market for Happ is hot. He’s got leverage to try for more years or extra money. If the price rises too much or the commitment becomes too long, the Yankees’ recent track record indicates they’ll back off.

It’s still early in the offseason, and the Bombers have hard-earned luxury tax reductions to take advantage of in 2019. Saving money on the last rotation spot with Happ or a trade could mean a huge play for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado is imminent.

Freelance editor and writer, and full-time Yankees fan. Originally from Monticello, NY, but now lives in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.