NEW YORK — The Yankees‘ pending trade for Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ is another win general manager Brian Cashman, a longtime American League scout told NJ Advance Media on Thursday afternoon.
“They needed somebody,” the scout said. “(Happ is) really going to help them.”
The scout spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about another team’s players.
The Yankees and the Blue Jays were in agreement on the deal as of Thursday afternoon, according to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi.
On Tuesday, the Yankees bolstered their bullpen, adding closer Zach Britton from the Orioles in exchange for a trio of mid-level prospects.
Happ, 35, brings an injection of stability to a Yankees’ rotation that is filled with question marks behind ace Luis Severino.
In 20 starts for Toronto, Happ is 10-6 with a 4.18 ERA. He’s striking out more batters this season (10.3 K/9) than his career mark (7.9 K/9) while walking less (2.8 BB/9) than his career average (3.3 BB/9).
The scout said he liked Happ for the Yankees because he’s a veteran who the scout believes is better than the Yankees’ current Nos. 4 and 5 options Luis Cessa, Sonny Gray and Domingo German.
The scout said Happ throws “better” strikes than the trio and that he likes that the Yankees are adding depth, considering their health worries. CC Sabathia (right hip strain) and Masahiro Tanaka (double hamstring strain) each have been on the disabled list this year. Sonny Gray has a lengthy injury history. And Severino has thrown more innings at this point this season than ever before.
The scout added that dealing Drury “makes sense” because he’s the odd man out in the Yankees’ infield, with rookie Miguel Andujar taking over third base early in the season and not letting it go.
Happ appears to be the best of the most realistic big-name starting pitchers to be moved before the deadline, the scout said.
“Whatever they think he is, as a strong (fourth starter) or if they think he’s a (third starter), and that he’s left-handed, and he’s been around the block,” the scout said, “he’s just real solid.
Recently, Happ said that he likes pitching at Yankee Stadium.Deal, Happ, JA, scout, trade, Yankees