Well, the other shoe has dropped and the Yankees have now added to their bullpen and their starting rotation as they look towards a run at the postseason. J.A. Happ has long been rumored as a Yankees trade candidate, and for the rest of the season, he’ll be in pinstripes. The Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays have agreed on a deal that will send J.A. Happ to the Yankees for INF Brandon Drury and OF Bill McKinney, the Yankees’ #20 prospect.
The last time that Happ was dealt at the deadline was in 2015 when the Pirates were looking to add veteran depth to their rotation. After turning in a 4- record with a 4.64 ERA and a 1.408 WHIP, Happ became a Cy Young candidate in the second half for the Bucs. In Pittsburgh, Happ went 7-2, with a 1.86 ERA and a 1.026 WHIP. Happ’s second half with the Pirates would be the main reason the Blue Jays would sign Happ in the offseason to a 3-year, $36 million dollar deal.
The thing that makes Happ ideal for the Yankees is not necessarily his prowess on the mound in the second half, but his history against their arch rivals the Boston Red Sox. In his career Happ is 7-4 with a 2.98 ERA against the Sox, holding them to a .227 average and only a 1.268 WHIP. However, in 2018, the 35-year-old is even better against the league-best BoSox. In his 2 starts against the Sox, Happ has a 0.84 ERA against the bashing Red Sox, however, that’s only through 10.2 innings of work.
Another great sign for the Yankees is how well Happ has pitched in Yankee Stadium. In 8 starts at the lattice lined ballpark, Happ is 4-1, with a 3.96 ERA and a 1.180 WHIP. Should the Red Sox take the AL East, Happ is a very solid second option for the Bronx Bombers int he Wildcard Game.
All in all, the Yankees and Red Sox are in an arms race. With the Red Sox picking up Nathan Eovaldi, the Yankees were playing behind the eight ball. This move by the Yankees is an excellent counter and keeps them in step with Boston.