The months long hunt for starting pitching finally turned up a result. According to multiple reports, the Yankees have agreed to acquire left-hander J.A. Happ from the Toronto Blue Jays. In exchange, the Bombers will send Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney north of the border.
Happ, 35, has pitched to a 4.18 ERA with a 3.84 FIP over 114 innings this season. While that seems straightforward enough, it’s been more complicated than the numbers on the whole. The veteran southpaw had a strong start to the season, registering a 3.61 ERA with nearly identical peripherals (3.60 FIP) through June. That’s not spectacular, but it’s pretty good!
His numbers, however, skyrocketed thanks to a disastrous July. So far this month, the left-hander has pitched to an ugly 7.41 ERA with a 4.98 FIP. While always susceptible to the long ball, Happ’s allowed four home runs over his last 17 innings. The Yankees will hope that bout of regression is over and he can move forward.
Drury, meanwhile, struggled during his limited run in pinstripes. The 25-year-old is hitting just .176/.263/.275 with a single home run in 18 games. The Yankees brought him on board to give Miguel Andujar more development time. Instead, he hit the disabled list in early April, Andujar hit the cover off the ball, and Drury has been riding the Scranton shuttle ever since.
McKinney, 23, has been hitting for power in Triple-A, but not much else. He owns a .230/.294/.502 batting line with 13 home runs for the RailRiders. He had a cup of coffee with the Bombers to start the season, and actually played at the Rogers Centre. His stay, like Drury’s, was cut short due to injury. The Yankees acquired the former first-rounder in 2016, back in the second Aroldis Chapman trade.
For now, the Yankees have addressed their rotation. It feels like a stopgap move, but they desperately needed the help. Plus, at least this finally ends the Happ trade saga.