The market for free agent J. A. Happ has apparently heated up recently and he may not be there for the picking much longer. It seems he’s holding out for a three-year contract, but at 36 years old, it’s doubtful many teams will be willing to invest in him for that long. Could the Astros bring Happ back to Houston to finish out his career?
The Astros are one of those teams that have expressed interest in Happ recently. Whether they’re open to the three years he’s seeking or a shorter two-year deal is yet to be known. Although his age is a concern, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down with age much and still has something left in the tank to be considered by a number of teams.
As recently as last season, Happ has shown that he’s still a pitcher that can be an asset to any starting rotation. His 2018 season was evidence of that, winning seventeen games and only losing six in 31 starts. He had an above average ERA+ of 119 and made his first All-Star appearance of his career. He ended the season with a 3.65 ERA, below his career average and came close to 200 strikeouts.
Happ just completed a three-year $36 million contract, earning him $13 million in 2018. His new team will most likely sign him for similar number, whether it’s a two or three-year deal. The advantage of getting Happ through free agency? Houston won’t have to give up any of their prospects and will still receive a quality pitcher in the process.