The New York Yankees lost out on another top free-agent pitcher on Thursday as Nathan Eovaldi opted to re-sign with the Boston Red Sox on a four-year, $67.5 million deal, as first reported by MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
It’s the second time in three days that the Yankees have missed out on one of the targets that would help further improve their starting rotation, the team’s Achilles Heel of a 100-win season last year. On Tuesday, Patrick Corbin signed a six-year, $140 million deal with the Washington Nationals, a price far too steep for the Yankees.
Now the Yankees will be going after Option C, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman, as veteran southpaw JA Happ will now become the organization’s next choice.
The 36-year-old Happ was acquired by the Yankees from the Toronto Blue Jays at the trade deadline for the stretch run. During his two months with the team, he was their best pitchers in a staff that saw ace Luis Severino struggle mightily during the second half of the season.
In 11 starts with the Yankees, Happ went 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 63.2 innings of work.
He’d offer another left-handed option to a rotation that just added James Paxton via trade with the Seattle Mariners to compliment the veteran CC Sabathia, who is projected to be the team’s fifth starter.
New York will have some competition from another team that lost out on Corbin, the Philadelphia Phillies. Should the Yankees remain frugal, they might lose out on him, too.
Max Wildstein of Gotham Sports Network claims that Happ is looking for a three-year deal. While the Yankees currently are willing to give two years, the Phillies could be willing to offer that extra season.
Other free-agent pitchers available include the likes of Dallas Keuchel, but the Yankees’ best option might come on the trade market, much like with Paxton.
The Cleveland Indians are looking to trade their ace Corey Kluber, one of the best pitchers in the American League. While the Yankees spoke with them earlier this offseason, it’s a deal worth revisiting should negotiations result in the two-time Cy Young Award winner.