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.