If there is no baseball this year, The Yankees will have to deal with many issues. One of them is to pick up the team option of J.A. Happ or not.
2020 has been a crazy year for baseball, especially since there is no season as of right now. MLBPA and the Owners have yet to agree on terms for a shortened season. This will hurt a lot of teams, especially with big-name players. Players like Mookie Betts are on a one year deal and will never see an inning on the field with the Dodgers. Then, you have players like J.A. Happ who will have a team option heading into next season. Should the Yankees pay 37-year-old Happ 17 million dollars in 2021?
Happ has not been terrible in pinstripes. In his 1½ seasons in Yankee pinstripes, he is 19-8 with a 4.28 ERA. You might say that he is not worth 17 million dollars, but he definitely has done well on the mound. When he came over from the Toronto Blue Jays in 2018 at the trade deadline, he went 7-0 with a great ERA of 2.69. It was the best season of his career, setting a career-best in strikeouts (193) and WHIP (1.13). In 2019, Happ had one of the worst seasons of his career. He posted an awful ERA of 4.91 and gave up a career-high 34 home runs.
We don’t know what he could have done this year and that makes the decision hard for the Yankees. Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton are both free agents in 2021, this may lead to the Yankees bringing Happ back if they don’t retain Tanaka or Paxton. The Yankees have had injury problems in the past so it is always good to have an extra arm on the roster. Keeping J.A. Happ in 2021 could really help them especially if this season is lost.