June 25, 2021

Brian Cashman sees J.A. Happ as leader in Yankees rotation race (New York Post)

After the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole in December, there was much speculation J.A. Happ may be headed elsewhere in a trade, but GM Brian Cashman indicated Thursday the left-hander would stick around.

“I’m extremely confident [in the Yankees’ rotation], especially the top four,’’ Cashman said Thursday on YES Network’s “Yankees Hot Stove.” “Obviously, I do think Happ is gonna be better for us than he was in the first half last year.”

Cashman pointed to Happ’s improvement in the second half and said he was looking forward to seeing what he could do in 2020. Happ gave up five runs in 27 ¹/₃ innings in his final five regular-season appearances — four starts. But he didn’t make any starts in the postseason.

For the season, Happ tossed 161 ¹/₃ innings last year with a 4.91 ERA, the second-highest of his career.

He also allowed 34 home runs, tied for the sixth-most in the game. And while he was hurt by Yankee Stadium’s short right-field porch, Happ still allowed 16 homers on the road.

The 37-year-old Happ is set to make $17 million this season, and if he throws 165 innings or makes 27 starts, he’ll make another $17 million in 2021, so shipping…

Read “Brian Cashman sees J.A. Happ as leader in Yankees rotation race” at New York Post