The New York Yankees are “close” to agreeing with former Toronto Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ on a three-year deal, but nothing is done yet. Ken Rosenthal reported earlier that the two parties were in agreement, pending a physical, but has since corrected his reporting.
Jon Heyman also reported that the two sides were close.
After trading Happ to the Yankees at the trade deadline this passing season, the Blue Jays were always listed among contenders for the pitcher, but never seemed as serious as some other teams in pursuing him.
Yesterday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports (the exclamation point is a requirement) reported that Happ had a handful of two-year deals on the table, but was waiting for a three-year deal before signing. “He has indicated he’ll sign with the first one that [offers him a three-year deal],” Passan wrote.
Sources: Where J.A. Happ winds up could come down to the team that guarantees him a third year. Right now, none has, and he has indicated he’ll sign with the first one that does. If none steps up, he’s got a number of two-year offers to consider, most from contending teams.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 11, 2018
The Blue Jays, in pursuit of starting pitching at this year’s Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, seem more eager to trade for a starter than sign one. Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez are two pitchers that Toronto could trade in the next few days, although Ross Atkins said the likelihood of trading either of them is “not high.”
Happ would fill the void that the Blue Jays face in their starting rotation, but it appears he may soon be off the market. Toronto would likely prefer younger starters to match the way they hope the organization is headed.
“We would rather have more flexibility, or complete flexibility to know what our opportunities will be on the starting pitching front before we’re aggressive with relievers,” Atkins said to Toronto media at the Winter Meetings.