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The Minnesota Twins are taking another chance on a former New York Yankees pitcher. This time around, it’s J.A. Happ.
Carl Pavano, Phil Hughes and Michael Pineda are names that both New York Yankees fans and Minnesota Twins faithful are familiar with. After not exactly performing up to expectations in the Bronx, these pitchers signed on with the Twins shortly afterwards and found immediate success. Now, we can add another former Yankee arm to the list.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Twins have agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ on a one-year contract. MLB insider Jon Heyman confirmed that the deal is worth $8 million, pending a physical.
Happ looking to bounce back in Minnesota
Happ got a half-season audition for the Yankees back in 2018 and was arguably their best pitcher that season. In 11 games, Happ went 7-0 and recorded a 2.69 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. The Yankees rewarded Happ with a two-year, $34 million contract for his tremendous efforts, in the hopes he would help bring the franchise their 28th World Series title in that span.
2019 was a mixed bag for Happ. While he did win 12 games in 31 appearances, Happ surrendered 34 home runs in that span. 2020 was respectable for Happ, as he recorded a 3.47 ERA, but was limited to nine starts in the 60-game season. The veteran lefty was vocal in his displeasure, saying he believed the Yankees held him back to ensure his $17 million vesting option in 2021 wasn’t fully guaranteed. Once the Yankees were eliminated in the AL Division Series, they declined Happ’s option, making him a free agent.
The Twins are looking to have similar, immediate success with Happ like they had with the aforementioned former Yankee pitchers in the past. The 38-year-old slots in as a middle-of-the-rotation arm, where he’ll pitch behind Kenta Maeda and Jose Berrios. Rest assured Yankee fans will keep a close eye on Happ to see if the organization was correct in letting him walk this offseason.