Much further down the list of free agent ex-Yankees for the Mets to consider is J.A. Happ. He might be older than James Paxton, but at least he’s coming off of a productive year. I also would prefer him because Happ probably has a better idea of his value while Paxton will search for an overpayment this winter.
Happ’s time with the Yankees included some major highs and lower lows. He was 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts back in 2018. Unfortunately, the “Red Sox killer” was murdered by Boston in his one start against them in the 2018 postseason. This one start is what he is best known for in New York.
Happ declined in 2019, finishing 12-8 with a 4.91 ERA. The Yankees were unable to get rid of him which wasn’t so bad considering how well he performed this past year. In nine starts, Happ was 2-2 with a solid 3.47 ERA.
Next year is Happ’s age 38 season so a one-year deal possibly with an incentive for a second is all we should look for. It’s the only reasonable type of contract Happ should look for at this stage of his career.
As a possible alternative to Steven Matz, Happ could give the Mets a little more experience in their rotation from the left side. Happ has pitched in the playoffs for three different teams. He’s not as talented as other free agent options. Happ can help fill out the Mets’ rotation with a more trusted arm than several of the options we saw this past year.
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Which Yankees free agent do you think is most likely to sign with the Mets? I would guess Tanaka. He fills a great need and has name-recognition. We can dream about LeMahieu. I don’t think the Yankees let him leave.