Phillies rumors: Four left-handed starters to target this offseason
J.A. Happ – Free Agency
A reunion with J.A. Happ appears to be the most likely option according to the latest Phillies rumors. Immediately after learning Patrick Corbin wasn’t coming to Philadelphia the local beat writers all said Matt Klentak’s attention will instantly turn to the 36-year-old Happ.
A third-round pick of the Phillies in 2004 out of Northwestern Happ made his major league debut for the 2007 team that clinched the first of five National League East crowns in a June spot-start against the Mets.
Happ appeared in eight games for the 2008 World Series team, making four starts, two in June and two in September. He made one playoff appearance that season, pitching three innings of relief against the Dodgers in game three of the NLCS after Jamie Moyer allowed five runs in the first inning.
Happ’s career took off in 2009 when he finished second to Marlin Chris Coghlan in the Rookie of the Year vote. The lefty went 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA and had two complete game shutouts.
The following summer he was dealt to Houston for veteran pitcher Roy Oswalt and has since bounced across the league. Happ has spent the last eight years with five different teams, four in the American League.
Happ has been a steady arm in the big leagues since leaving Philadelphia, winning double-digit games in six of his last seven seasons. He received Cy Young votes in 2016 when he won 20 games for Toronto and he made his first All-Star team last season before being traded to the Yankees.
The 36-year-old Happ would likely command a deal no longer than two years. Last year he made $13 million and could command slightly more in this market. Knowing the Phillies are desperate for a left-handed starter his agent will likely look for what might be Happ’s final major payday.