Yankees officially ink J.A. Happ; is Manny Machado next?

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Maybe the real drama wasn’t supposed to come on the pitcher’s mound after all. Maybe it was supposed to come from elsewhere on the field. Say … shortstop? Perhaps before this week is over, superstar free agent Manny Machado will be the big fish the Yankees have been looking to reel in.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

In the meantime, rebuffed by Corbin, overlooked by Eovaldi, unable to work out a move (yet) for Kluber or Bauer and not an apparent serious suitor for Syndergaard, the Yankees have had a difficult time making the blockbuster pitching splash their fan base has so desperately wanted since ace Luis Severino’s playoff debacle against Boston.

Tack on already-under-contract veterans Severino and Masahiro Tanaka (and, until New York finds a suitable trade partner, Sonny Gray), and there is the rotation, for now, entering spring training.7

That’s a solid group. There are possibly three, maybe four, 15-game winners there. But is this a staff that can win a World Series, particularly given the competition within their own division from the Red Sox? As it stands right now, they might not be done adding starters.

Happ’s signing “doesn’t preclude us from being open-minded from any other options that develop over time,” general manager Brian Cashman said at last week’s winter meetings.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

After all, Happ, who reportedly wanted a three-year deal, entered the winter meetings as one of the best starters still available. New York got him to come back on a two-year contract with a vesting option on a third year. It also helps the Yankees know what they’re getting in the 36-year-old who spent the final two months of the season with them. A mound tactician, Happ methodically pitched his way to a 7-0 regular-season record in 11 starts after being acquired from Toronto at the deadline.

“He was a performer. He took the ball every five days. He was a competitor. He came as advertised,” Cashman said. “A real pro. Had a veteran presence within that clubhouse. Knew exactly what was necessary and brought it every five days in the most competitive division in all of baseball and the world.

“He checks all the boxes on that side of it, and that’s why he’s an attractive target in free agency. Because he’s made himself that, and he’s done that consistently for quite some time.”