The Minnesota Twins have made their second major league signing of the year, adding free agent left handed pitcher J.A. Happ to a one-year deal worth $8 million (pending a physical). The news was first reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN around 4 p.m. yesterday:
Happ is entering his 15th season in the Majors with the Minnesota Twins in 2021, having debuted with the Philadelphia Phillies all the way back in 2007. Since that time, Happ has made a career out of being a journeyman starter for multiple teams, including the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Seattle Mariners.
Like every player in 2020, Happ’s playing time was cut back due to the pandemic. Happ did manage to get in nine starts with the Yankees during the season posting a 3.47 earned run average in 49 and a third innings pitched, along with having a 4.57 FIP.
Happ was an All-Star as recently as 2018 with the Toronto Blue Jays, before being acquired by the Yankees at the 2018 trade deadline. At his older age of 38, Happ projects to be the forth or fifth starter in the Minnesota Twins rotation for Opening Day. Happ brings with him durability, as he can be a starter that can go at least six innings with every start.
Minnesota Twins fans, writers and reporters still speculate that the Twins are not done making moves to add more depth into their starting rotation. As it currently stands, the Minnesota Twins 2021 Opening Day starting rotation projects to be Kenta Maeda, Jose Berrios, Michael Pineda, J.A. Happ, and likely Randy Dobnak.
There is still a chance the Minnesota Twins can resign Jake Odorizzi, allowing a more solid rotation for Opening Day, but with projections from Baseball Reference showing the Twins only having $25.5 million left to spend on the free agent market, it’s hard to say if the Minnesota Twins will bring back Odorizzi or focus on resigning Nelson Cruz.
At least with Happ, Minnesota joins the ranks of many MLB teams making some transactions as the MLB offseason comes closer to its end. It is likely over the next few weeks, the team will try to make more moves to push for a competitive edge over the Chicago White Sox in the 2021 AL Central divisional race.