Yankees finalize 2-year deal with J.A. Happ

December 17th, 2018

The Yankees ended several days of speculation by officially inking free-agent left-hander J.A. Happ to a two-year contract with a vesting option for the 2021 season.
Happ will earn $34 million over the course of the deal, per multiple reports. The Yankees designated right-hander for assignment to make room for Happ on the 40-man roster.
The 36-year-old Happ figures to bolster New York's rotation alongside , and in 2019. Happ impressed after the Yankees acquired him from Toronto in a deal involving infielder and Minor Leaguer before last July's non-waiver Trade Deadline, posting a 7-0 record and 2.69 ERA, with 63 strikeouts against 16 walks. Though he took the loss in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Red Sox, Happ owns a career 2.98 ERA over 21 regular-season appearances (20 starts) against the Yankees' biggest rival.
The 2018 season was a banner year for Happ, who set career-best totals in strikeouts (193) and WHIP (1.13), and earned the save for the AL side in his first-ever All-Star Game. His 17 victories tied for the fourth most in the AL. Other than Tanaka, who came to New York via Japan's posting process in 2014, Happ is the first starter to sign a multi-year deal with the Yankees since A.J. Burnett and did so on the same day on Dec. 18, 2008.