MLB hot stove: Yankees, J.A. Happ reportedly close to deal

J.A. Happ was stellar in a short stint in the Bronx last season, and it appears he’s close to returning to the Yankees. 

The Athletic initially reported Wednesday that Happ had agreed to what was believed to be a three-year deal with New York, but later walked back the report to say nothing had been finalized. 

The Phillies are the other team mentioned most often in connection with the 36-year-old left-hander, who was drafted by Philadelphia in 2004 and broke into the majors there three years later. 

Happ went 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 regular-season starts with the Yankees after being acquired from the Blue Jays in late July. He made one postseason appearance, taking the loss against the Red Sox in Game 1 of the division series after allowing five runs in two-plus innings. 

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Happ also has pitched for the Pirates, Mariners and Astros in his 12-year career and made the All-Star Game for the first time in 2018. 

Shoring up their rotation was the top priority for the Yankees entering the offseason, and Happ would be the third move to that end so far this winter. New York previously re-signed C.C. Sabathia to a one-year deal and acquired lefty James Paxton from the Mariners for three prospects.

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