J.A. Happ’s name came up in lots of trade rumors in the offseason, but he ultimately stayed with the New York Yankees.
And according to Dan Martin of the New York Post, Happ is happy to still be in the Bronx. He even addressed his turbulent winter to reporters in Tampa on Friday. Happ also took the trade rumors in stride, understanding they weren’t personal.
“I understand that’s kind of the nature of the business,’’ he said. “But I’m certainly happy I’m here.”
Happ, 37, signed a two-year, $34 million deal with the Yankees last offseason after being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in 2018. He struggled last year, going 12-8 with a 4.91 ERA. Happ’s troubles were tied directly to the home run, as he gave up a career-worst 34 on the year.
Sure enough, after the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole in free agency, Happ’s name popped up in plenty of trade rumors. No deal for him was made during the winter meetings, but a crowded rotation plus Jordan Montgomery’s return made Happ the odd man out.
Then, James Paxton underwent back surgery, and Happ’s job was saved.
Hopefully, the aging Happ can get himself right. Save for posting a 1.65 ERA in September, the 2019 season was a forgettable one for him. It’s no wonder the Yankees tried to trade him and his $17 million price tag for 2020.
But it appears that thanks to fate, Happ will receive a second chance. With spring training underway, let’s see him make the most of it.