June 22, 2021

The Yankees should be shopping J.A. Happ (Pinstripe Alley)

The free agent market is flush with a usually scarce commodity this winter: high-end starting pitching. In exchange for cash and a few draft picks, due to the qualifying offer compensation, an ace like Gerrit Cole and postseason stars like Stephen Strasburg and Madison Bumgarner are there for the taking.

While the Yankees are the richest team in the game as far an ownership is concerned, there is still a limit to the spending of the organization. With the most desirable pitchers expected to command over $30 million a season, and even the next tier expected to be above $18 million, Brian Cashman is likely to be limited in where he can spend. To open up more room he needs to aggressively pursue trading J.A. Happ and his $17 million salary for 2020.

The Yankees have found ways to deal salary in the past. Following the 2017 season, the Yankees moved third baseman Chase Headley and his $13 million salary to a rebuilding San Diego club that was able to absorb that salary. Entering his age-34 season, Headley was coming off a solid season where he produced a 105 wRC+ and 2.0 fWAR. The Yankees saw high-end infield talent like Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres ready to reach the…

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