January 20, 2021

J.A. Happ biting his tongue in awkward Yankees situation: Sherman (New York Post)


J.A. Happ is trying to pitch and bite his tongue when he is not.

He did both well Sunday night. The veteran lefty limited the comatose Red Sox to one run in 5 ²/₃ innings in a 4-2 triumph and then mostly limited his public annoyance at how he is being used — or more aptly — not being used by the Yankees.

Happ was skipped in the last turn around the rotation and you can find legitimate reasons for why that was the case, such as the Yankees wanting to use Gerrit Cole as much as possible and that before Sunday the other starters had shown more than Happ either last season, this season or both.

But there is an elephant the size of Giancarlo Stanton standing on Aaron Judge’s shoulder in the room. Happ has a vesting option for 2021 for $17 million, and the Yankees want nothing to do with paying him that much, especially because they have other free agents such as DJ LeMahieu and Masahiro Tanaka who they likely will prefer to retain.

It is against major league rules to purposefully manipulate usage to keep a player from vesting an option. And the Yankees always have those legitimate reasons to serve as cover in case there is ever a grievance.

“That is a subject that…

Read “J.A. Happ biting his tongue in awkward Yankees situation: Sherman” at New York Post