J.A. Happ is back with the New York Yankees and his new contract has a vesting option for 2021, here are the terms.
J.A. Happ is back with the New York Yankees on a two-year, $34 million deal, with a vesting option for a third season. Now, thanks to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic, the terms of the option are officially public.
J.A. Happ says the third year on his contract will vest if he has 27 starts or 165 innings in 2020.
(He started 31 games for 177.2 innings last season.)
— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) December 20, 2018
The Yankees are thus in one of two places. General manager Brian Cashman is either betting Happ won’t reach those thresholds in his age-37 season. Or, he’s confident enough in offering $17 million a year that he feels Happ will certainly perform well enough for the option to vest.
Happ, who turned 36 in October, went 17-6 with a 3.65 ERA in 31 starts for the Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays. He was acquired in July for Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney and proceeded to go 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts in pinstripes.
But Happ’s success as a Yankee isn’t the important statistic here. Rather, it’s the number of innings he pitched. Sure, he hasn’t thrown 200 frames once in his career, but Happ has eclipsed the 160-inning mark four times in his career. A bona fide ace he is not, but Happ can take the mound and eat some innings when called upon.
Oh, and let’s not forget he’s 8-4 with a 2.98 ERA against the hated Boston Red Sox for his career.
Long story short, the Yankees made the smart move not only giving J.A. Happ a third-year via a vesting option but also making it one that can actually be achieved.