Looks like the Yankees might be willing to go three years after all.
J.A. Happ is close to returning to the Bronx on a three-year deal, The Athletic reported on Wednesday morning. The deal is pending a physical, per the report.
Ken Rosenthal initially reported that the Yankees had a deal in place, but then backtracked and wrote “indications are Yankees are close on Happ” in a followup tweet.
Happ, who the Yankees acquired in a late July trade with the Blue Jays, went 7-0 down the stretch to help the Bombers reach the postseason. He pitched to a 2.69 ERA in pinstripes in 63.2 innings with 63 strikeouts and 16 walks.
GM Brian Cashman made clear his desire to bring in two starting pitchers this offseason, but it was initially thought that he was interested in Happ’s return only on a two-year deal.
Cashman’s first move of the hot-stove season was a trade that brought Mariners ace James Paxton to the Bronx. After then losing out on Patrick Corbin — who signed a six-year, $140 million free agent contract with the Nationals — Cashman apparently set his sights on Happ.
The Yankees went out and got Happ at the trade deadline in large part for his success against the Red Sox. But the 36-year-old couldn’t get the job done in the postseason as he gave up two first-inning homers in Boston’s 5-4 victory in Game 1 of the ALDS at Fenway Park.
“I would say Happ is probably our first choice,” a Yankee source told the News’ Wallace Matthews.
The free-spending Phillies were also interested in Happ’s services.
Happ has a career record of 109-82 with a 3.90 ERA. He earned his first All-Star nod last season with the Blue Jays.
Developing story, check back for details.