The speedier free-agent market could work to the Yankees’ advantage as they try to lighten their financial commitments for 2020. However, they’ll have to wait a little longer to fully market J.A. Happ.
The veteran Happ, with $17 million guaranteed for next season and an attainable vesting option set for 2021, has been made available by the Yankees in the wake of signing free agent ace Gerrit Cole to a monster, nine-year, $324-million contract. Cole will be formally introduced by the Yankees on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner and Jake Odorizzi (who accepted the Twins’ qualifying offer) are all off the board, leaving just two high-end starting pitchers remaining: Lefties Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has spent his entire Major League Baseball career with the Dodgers, and Dallas Keuchel, who pitched most recently for the Braves. The Dodgers, Angels, Blue Jays, Twins, White Sox and Padres are among the clubs interested in upgrading their starting rotations.
When Ryu and Keuchel sign — both are represented by Scott Boras, who will be at the Stadium with Cole on Wednesday — then attention will turn more fully to trade…