The Yankees did not exercise J.A. Happ's $17 million option for 2021, per source. He is now a free agent.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) October 30, 2020
File this under not surprising. JA Happ is now a free agent. It’s pretty clear that Happ’s vesting option did not vest, which then turned it into a club option. There was no way the team was going to pick that up for $17 million.
Now, we may not be done hearing about Happ just yet. Things got a bit contentious during the regular season regarding the southpaw’s vesting option. We still don’t know if the two sides renegotiated the option or if an arbiter rendered a decision on it, but whatever the case was, Happ didn’t meet the criteria. Perhaps this leads to a grievance in the near future.
Needless to say, I wouldn’t expect Happ back next season. As good as he was down the stretch in the regular season, he and the Yankees clearly do not get along. Not like it would be wise to bet on a 38 year-old pitcher, anyway.