J.A. Happ is in favor of the New York Yankees signing Manny Machado, and part of the reason is that he doesn’t want to pitch against him.
Happ just wrapped up his own deal with New York on Monday, getting $34 million for two years, with a performance-based option for 2021. The option would be for another $17 million.
Machado stopped by Yankee Stadium on Wednesday as part of a free agency tour that ended in Philadelphia on Thursday. Naturally, when Happ made himself available to the media, he fielded questions about Machado joining him in the Bronx.
“I would certainly welcome that, especially as a left-hander,” Happ told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. “You see the all-around numbers, the defense and the arm strength. He’s an all-around superstar type of player, so to get any player like that on your team, that would be exciting.”
In his career against Happ, the righty swinging Machado is 8-for-34 (.235) with three home runs, per RotoWire. Hopefully Happ has more confidence against other righty hitters, such as Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez.
One Yankee lefty who might want Machado on his side even more than Happ does is CC Sabathia. Machado has slashed .375/.407/.768 with five bombs in 56 at-bats against the big lefty.
Yankees pitchers aren’t the only ones concerned with where Machado ends up. Toronto Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman is already gearing up to face a hypothetic Bombers’ lineup with Machado in the middle:
Machado is going to the Yankees. Yankees go out and get everyone. Red Sox are lethal. Rays are dangerous. Can never sleep on the Orioles. I’m going to the gym. Gonna be in my zone all year. Excited to compete in the best division in baseball! #ALEast
— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) December 20, 2018
In contrast, the Yankees are playing a pretty convincing Ebenezer Scrooge this holiday season. That’s why we’re talking about J.A. Happ’s Machado comments rather than Patrick Corbin’s or Nathan Eovaldi’s.