The Red Sox are showing interest in free-agent left-hander J.A. Happ, Jon Morosi of MLB Network tweets. They join the Angels, Rangers and Blue Jays as teams known to be eyeing Happ early this offseason.
Happ spent the previous two-plus years with Boston’s archrival, the Yankees, but New York declined his $17MM option for 2021 after last season. While that price tag proved prohibitive for the Yankees, Happ’s a long-effective starter who’s on the open market in the wake of a respectable campaign, and he should come at a more affordable cost this winter. The 38-year-old made nine starts in 2020 and posted a 3.47 ERA (with a much less inspiring 4.57 FIP) and 7.66 K/9 against 2.74 BB/9 over 49 1/3 innings.
The type of numbers Happ has typically offered would be welcome in Boston, whose rotation has its share of question marks at the moment. Ace Chris Sale missed all of 2020 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March, so it’s unknown when he will be able to debut next season. Eduardo Rodriguez also sat out the year on account of health issues, as he battled heart problems and COVID-19. The hope is that he’ll be ready to go next year, though. Nathan Eovaldi, Tanner Houck and Nick Pivetta are the other favorites for rotation spots (Eovaldi is a shoo-in). Happ would provide some more certainty as someone who has eaten a good deal of innings and recorded above-average production for several years.
As a Yankee fan I hope so. Yes, he’ll give you three to four innings and will have a day here and there where he’s not bad, but he’ll also cough up five plus runs per outing as well.
Compared to 2020, what you described is not bad. The problem is who wants to compare a team’s pitching to Boston’s 2020 staff?
I was going to say the same thing. Happ kind of defines mediocre, but 15-20 mediocre starts would be very useful until ERod and Sale return.
J.A Happ getting passed around like he’s the good shiii…
Happ is pb and j… on wheat
You’ve kind of got to wonder though…
They bought out Perez’s option after his year to go after a guy like happ?
I honestly dunno what to think. I liked Perez n he stepped up when no one else did or could. Happ similar but funny if more affordable or upgrade…I dunno.
Money. they may try to bring Perez back for less and their interest in Happ is likely based on cost.
The problem with that theory is if everyone is dumpster diving, trash prices go up.
When nobody wants to pay 12m, 6m looks good. And at those rates, chaim should’ve just kept Perez rather than trying to cheap out on 1m or 2m. Because with his 2020 effort, you know perez will get more than 2-3m and 1 yr on the open market.
Perez said he has an announcement pending, so guess he’s close to a deal with someone.
Budget ceilings due to cashflow shortages in 2020 will be much lower for many teams. Non superstars may have a choice of where they play but the money overall will still fe much less than what was projected for 21 back in say 18 or 19.
Happ is a huge upgrade over Perez.. not even talking about money.
Randy Red Sox
Yeah no kidding eh? On a GOOD day Happy is AVERAGE but he doesn’t have that many good days. Sox should be in on Sonny Gary instead.
Gary will revert to his Yankee days and be terrible with the RS media and pressure. Gary already showed he can’t pitch in the AL East.
My first reaction as well. Perez is more affordable and less of a delicate flower.
all in the suit that you wear
Unless Happ comes with a low base salary and the rest based on incentives, this is a bad move. Happ is just not that good anymore.
Maybe he can throw a knuckleball?
Yuck. I really hope Boston doesn’t sign Happ. I’d rather see them bring in Quintana or Richards and then sign another cheap option like Wacha for depth. Boston should fare much better this year than last, and they have legit prospects in Mata & Houck who could push for a rotation spot this year. If E-Rod is healthy and Sale can come back by June 1st, Boston will be much better than most people expect. While Houck really impressed last season, Bryan Mata might be one of the least talked about MLB pitching prospects who had solid #2 or #3 potential. The Red Sox will be back in the playoff hunt much sooner than most fans realize. Get your popcorn ready!
No they won’t.
Lol you’re assuming not 1 but 2 prospects will work out (complete uncertainty no matter how much talent they have), sale is back by June and returns to ace form (not the 2019 sale Boston swore wasn’t injured…), Erod looks like he did in 2019 (only year he was actually good), and eovaldi doesn’t get hurt in 20 sec (laughable). Seems like a lot needs to go right for this staff to get the team into the playoff hunt and I haven’t even touched on the bullpen yet (mainly because it doesn’t really exist). Hard to imagine them legitimately competing before 2022 or 2023. Maybe with extended playoffs they can hope to sneak in to a wildcard game and be quickly eliminated but even that seems like a bit of a stretch for this year.
I agree. It is not generally well known, but from 8/25 on, the RS went 18-18, with no contributions from Benni, JDM, Sale, or ERod.
And the NYY went 17-19 over the same period.
You listed benintendi, sale and rodriguez, but they got nothing out of devers, peraza or chavis either.
Sale and rodriguez obviously to injury snd will be back. Devers was an obvious fluke. Chavis likely was a fluke too. And peraza is no longer on the roster
Get some young arms in here….
Not a good idea. Unless they want him to be an Al Oliver, long relief type.
Al Oliver? Number 0?
Not too shabby.
The Red Sox are interested in ANYONE who’s interested in them. Turn out the lights the party’s over.
They still have a very good team. Shore up the pitching and they are a sneaky pick to win that division
Win the division? That’s laughable and, no, they are not “a very good team”
22 leo- what do you know if you call that “laughable “?… 2 potential cy young contenders would lead the rotation. The lineup wasn’t even bad in a year they got no contribution from devers, martinez, anyone at second base, benintendi or chavis most of which if you knew anything, you would know was a fluke
I’m not sure who your 2 cy young contenders are… sale is a great pitcher when healthy but he’s coming off of a bad 2019 and not pitching in 2020. Erod had a good year in 2019 but he’s really not that great of a pitcher. Certainly a solid #2/#3 pitcher but he’d have to do a lot more than one good season to call him an ace. When you watch him pitch you know that too, the guy is always getting behind on batters and walking guys in terrible situations (as a baseball fan I can’t stand watching Erod pitch…), Eovaldi is a always hurt and when he’s healthy has good and bad days. Certainly not an ace. By my count you have one potential cy young contender in sale if he comes back strong. But that’s a big of right now.
Benetendi granted had a terrible year but he wasn’t exactly fantastic in 2019 and truly never really lived up to the Boston hype so it’s hard to pin him as the savior. Chavis has power but has always been a K machine and pitchers quickly learned his weaknesses. I do expect JD to have a better season and likely Devers although he looked pretty out of shape this year…
Do I think the Red Sox will be the laughing stock they were in 2020? No. But you Red Sox fans are a little delusional thinking as is they’re a good team that’s going to complete. They’re a mediocre to bad team that will fight for 3rd place in the al east if a lot goes right and will be 4th or last if a lot doesn’t go right. Maybe that changes with moves they make over the winter and injuries to other teams but it’s you who doesn’t know anything if you really think this team is going to beat the rays, jays, and yanks to take the division right now (all 3 of which are currently more talented with more depth)…
I would even take 38 year old JA Happ over Robbie Ray, Drew Smyly and Kevin Gausman and all three of those guys got way more than anyone thought they would for 2021.
Disagree- Robbie Ray had a bad season but his strikeout rate is great.
Who cares about strikeouts if you can’t prevent baserunners and runs. He is pretty far removed from when he was a consistently good pitcher
4.29 FIP in 2019 isn’t great but isn’t horrible. Add on 235 strikeouts and over 170 innings and that’s a decent pitcher there. I would take that over Happ.
2020 was his bad season but it was also a shortened season where several underperformed.
Every pitchers strikeout rate seems to be up because hitters are trying to put the ball in the air rather and over the fence….strikeout rate is not a good metric any longer to measure a pitchers effectiveness.
Robbie Ray had a bad season but…
No, Robbie Ray is bad and overpaid. Hitters today “like” to strikeout. Try getting some outs.
Depends on the contract. Happ’s FIP is concerning for his WHIP has been excellent. Go figure.
It’s because he didnt K alot of batters, nor did he miss alot of bats in general. Anytime this is the case, and a pitcher pitches to contact, their FIP and xFIP are generally going to be alot higher than their actual numbers..
However, the fact remains he got the job done, and at the end of the day, if he limits runs, that’s all that matters.
Of course, some of that credit for limiting runs goes to the defense behind him…
2020 Yankees would have greatly superior defense than the currently projected 2021 redsox…
Red Sox interested in Happ. Why?
They need pitching? He’s a pitcher? He had success as recently as the last time baseball was played? What else?
Far Beyond Driven
JD Martinez will court Happ by explaining all the amazing benefits of opt out clauses.
Not sure why so many people are hating on Happ… is he a lights out ace? No but he’s probably affordable and has a 3.74 ERA over his last 900 innings pitched. If he continues to pitch like that, he would be a very welcome addition to the Red Sox rotation that will hopefully also be getting a healthy erod and at some point Sale back. He’s no Trevor Bauer but he’s a very solid middle of the rotation pitcher, even if he doesn’t necessarily go too deep into games anymore.
His BABIP last season was .223 which was a career-low. He’s not ’19 bad but not ’20 good.
It’s funny… I know Happ is old and that carries risk but he was 1.2 WAR in a shortened season and so many talk about him like he’s useless, practically Ed Whitson-esque… yet on another thread, the majority is touting the benefits of a -0.2 WAR Michael Wacha…. strange world
Ed Whitson had two seasons late in his career that were very, very good (6.5, 7.0 WAR), and three more where his WAR was 2.6, 2.6, and 3.4. JA Happ is basically Ed Whitson for his career (23.2 WAR in 14 years vs Whitson’s 22.7 in 15 years), but with a slightly longer late peak.
It’s funny you claim others are making him out to be Ed Whitson-esque, when the comparison is actually really accurate.
Differentbears… you must not be a “local”, that is, from NY… my point about Whitson is exactly that he’s someone who is irrationally despised by a fan base… Whitson was not a terrible player, but try and tell a Yankee fan of my age that. Perhaps a flawed comparison, but that he isn’t as bad as some think is part of the analogy.
Happ had some really good outings last yr. I know he was fighting with management but that’s how it goes sometimes. I doubt he returns to the Bronx. He would be a fit at Fenway, depending if Perez’s announcement doesn’t include Boston.
That’s great!!! He can give up gofer balls in beantown. And the yanks will reap benefits lol. He’s a good guy though, hopefully he does ok.
The Red Sox should be aiming higher if they really want to add some reliable SP via free agency. Happ is barely an upgrade from Martin Perez, if at all. They have several young pitchers (Pivetta, Houck, Seabold, Mata) who could be factors in 2021, and who all arguably have the same if not better upside than Happ at this point in his career.
Could be they believe they can get Happ for less than the six million they would have paid Perez or its just due diligence. Sox have a lot of needs and will likely be linked to a lot of players
Another John Morosi “I have to publish something so why not report just whatever pops into my head” story.
The Red Sox would be signing Happ to flip for prospects at the trading deadline. It would be a typical Bloom move for those of you who have not followed Tampa’s strategy. They buy fairly cheap with the idea that they will only pay 2/3 of the salary and take in prospects in July. I often wondered why the RS did not do this with at least a few players occasionally.
The Red Sox are looking to bring up Mata and Seabold in July or August, so this is a perfect way to bridge the first half of the season until the prospects are ready on a cheap one year contract……
Happ is a bigger name than Martin Pérez and might bring back a better prospects at the trading deadline if he is decent in the first half…
If thats the plan, it’s a terrible one. Who would trade prospects for Happ? He’s mediocre at best.
Bloom has already played the flip game twice as Pillar who signed a cheap one year contract was flipped for Jacob Wallace (Soxprospect #20). Moreland who resigned a cheap one year plus an option was flipped for Rosario (#11) and Potts (#15).
Surprisingly even mediocre pitching will bring surprisingly good returns. Hembree was not that good and Workman was a 30 day rental that brought back Seabold (#12) and Pivetta.
Bloom has gotten good return on his trade deadline moves.
Difference between those is that they are actually good players, unlike Happ. We didn’t see Martin Perez get flipped…
We did not see Bradley flipped either….so
Unless he signs for less than 6m total including any incentives, it makes no sense at all. They had a younger equivalent in Perez and they bought him out. If you get him for absolutely nothing, sure why not, otherwise move on and look for something else.
He’ll get $7.5M base + incentives to double that.
While Perez did have a nice season last year, Happ is by far the better pitcher of the two, even at age 38. He’s much more consistent and can still strike out about a batter per inning too. I see Perez going back to his regular 5.00+ ERA next year in a full season.
To sign a guy like happ you need impeccable defense, or, he’s going to turn in a 5-6 era effort of his own.
When you’ve got Devers throwing to the fans/dugout instead of 1b, a gaping hole of nothing at 2b, and just lost your ranging plus defender in CF, a high contact ball in play pitcher is a ticking time bomb. Also for what it’s worth, they don’t have a GG 1b anymore to try making Devers look better either
Happ is definitely more consistent…..more consistent at giving up home runs. The Sox can find much better alternatives to Happ.
Beats being totally hapless.
AL East pitchers had to face the Top 4 teams in overall batting average in 2020 (Mets, Braves, Red Sox, Nationals). Plus another team in 7th (Baltimore), 9th (Phillies) and 12th (Blue Jays). In OPS, all but one team from the East divisions landed in the Top 14 (Marlins did not).
The point? Perhaps all AL and NL East pitchers would have had an easier time facing other divisions in the league rather than have to face some strong offensive teams. Maybe Happ and others will benefit from avoiding East teams every appearance. Maybe.
Please no… if this Bloom’s direction, I disagree. Happy is not an upgrade, loved it when Yankees had him.
Upgrade over Godley, Hall, Mazza, Kickham, Springs, Leyer, Covey,…………….lol
Happ is not a large market club pitcher. He’s not a big game pitcher. I HOPE the Red Sox pull this trigger… Give the guy $9M and watch him give up meatballs to the Yankees… He’ll be a dependable pitcher overall, but when it’s on the line, PLEASE let him be in a Red Sox uniform against the Yankees.
Read the Tweet. Happ is awesome at Fenway. 2.57 career.
The BoSox 40 man roster is full. So does that mean they can’t acquire additional players until the December 12th Rule 5 draft is complete?
Garry – it means the Red Sox will DFA Jeffrey Springs or Robert Stock
Never mind JA Happ. Go after a real winner Charlie Morton.
Morton will sign with Atlanta
Well done Bill.
He will disappoint. HRs will be flying. He is old and needs his fastball which will be even slower in 2021. That said, he will land somewhere based on past performance
Useful innings eater. Right price? No brainer.
Watch Happ sign in Boston and become a stud
Happ’s agent must be feeding the media to make him look more in demand.
JA Happ is 38!? It seems like he was a top prospect like four years ago LOL
I’d suggest looking at his splits. He’s pitched well at Fenway Park but he has also pitched well against the Red Sox, so the question is whether his performance at Fenway is because of the park or the opponent.
Don’t be a fool Chaim. Better off resigning Perez for less.
Why not consider both Perez and Happ for a 1 year deal for short money?
The Red Sox staff is so bad that survivors of the Titanic call it a disaster. If they sign Happ it is a hope they can deal straight or package for some prospects at the trade deadline.
This is the early 90’s all over again. A nice core of hitters with ZERO pitching. Anyone betting on Sale and E-Rod being top shelf probably thinks Cam Newton is still a top 10 QB in the NFL.
Yes, Red Sox please sign this guy, so the Angels don’t make the mistake of doing so.
Happ fits into a logical plan of what the Red Sox could use in 2021 without jeopardizing their 2022 and beyond game plan.
This is someone I think would fit well as the #5 starter for Mets. 25 k over 2 years in this market might do it.