J.A. Happ Rumors: Yankees, Phillies, Astros, Brewers Among Teams Interested

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2018

New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ delivers to the Boston Red Sox in the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

Several teams have reportedly shown interest in signing free-agent starting pitcher J.A. Happ.

According to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi, the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros are all potentially in on the veteran lefty.

Happ split last season between the Yankees and Blue Jays, finishing 17-6 with a 3.65 ERA and 1.13 WHIP, as well as a career-high 193 strikeouts over 177.2 innings.

He was especially strong down the stretch after the Yanks acquired him from Toronto, going 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 11 starts for the Bronx Bombers.

The Yankees already traded for lefty starter James Paxton in a deal with the Seattle Mariners this offseason, but general manager Brian Cashman has made it clear that he is looking for another starting pitcher to add to a rotation that includes Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia.

Happ is garnering interest from several of his former teams, as the Phillies and Astros are reportedly in on him as well.

The one-time All-Star began his career in Philadelphia in 2007, and he went on to spend nearly four seasons with the Phillies before they traded him to the Astros in the middle of the 2010 season.

While Happ had a 3.11 ERA with the Phillies, his three seasons in Houston didn't go nearly as well, as evidenced by his 4.84 ERA with the Astros.

The Phillies are viewed as a team likely to spend big this offseason in order to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011, although landing the 36-year-old Happ could depend on whether they land one or both of shortstop Manny Machado and outfielder Bryce Harper.

Houston is two seasons removed from a World Series win, and it reached the American League Championship Series this past season.

The Astros may lose lefty starter Dallas Keuchel in free agency, as well as veteran righty Charlie Morton.

Happ would potentially slot in alongside Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole to form one of the most fearsome starting rotations in Major League Baseball.

The Brewers and Angels stand out as dark-horse options for Happ, especially if some of the aforementioned teams go for higher-profile pitchers in free agency such as Keuchel or Patrick Corbin.

Milwaukee is coming off a surprise trip to the National League Championship Series, and the Angels are in search of their first playoff berth since 2014.