Two of his former squads appear to be the front-runners to land the services of 2018 All-Star lefty J.A. Happ.
As the always entertaining Baseball Winter Meetings rumour mill spins in Las Vegas this week, both the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies are showing deep interest in trying to work out a deal with the free-agent hurler, who posted a 3.65 ERA and was worth 3.4 Wins Above Replacement last season.
The 36-year-old spent the majority of 2018 with the Toronto Blue Jays before getting flipped to the Yankees for the stretch run, where he rounded into arguably New York’s most reliable starting arm while going 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA to finish up the regular season.
He impressed Yankees brass enough to attract serious offers from the club, but a desired third year on his contract seems to be the main sticking point right now.
Hearing that the Yankees are willing to go two years with J.A. Happ, but are reluctant to add a third, when he’d be 38.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) December 11, 2018
The Phillies, meanwhile, have also been engaged in serious ongoing discussion with Happ, who spent the first four years of his career in Philadelphia.
Jayson Stark of the Athletic reported the NL East club’s interest on Monday.
The #Phillies have had ongoing dialogue with LHP J.A. Happ over the last several days, according to sources. The Phillies have a long shopping list. But Happ appears to be their best fit, as a LH with experience in Philadelphia who won’t require a long deal. Still seeking 3 years
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 10, 2018
The Atlanta Braves, run by former Blue Jays boss Alex Anthopoulos, have also emerged as a late sleeper candidate to land Happ’s services, according to John Heyman.
Braves are an under the radar team on J.A. Happ. Uncertain of their chances but they appear to be still in a field that’s been narrowed from a dozen or more.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 10, 2018
It’s that time of year when it seems like every team is linked to every single player on the market. You gotta love it.
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