The Yankees are continuing their pursuit of free agent LHP J.A. Happ, and according to SNY's Andy Martino, they "continue to progress towards a deal."
New York has some competition for Happ, but the Phillies look to be out of the running. According to The Athletic's Matt Gelb, they are expecting him to sign elsewhere. Like the Yankees, they wouldn't budge on a two-year deal for Happ, and the possibility that he signs for his preferred three years is still an option.
The 36-year-old has offers from multiple teams, per Martino. The Yankees do not know when he will accept one of them, but are hoping he chooses to return to the Bronx.
Happ's negotiations have proceeded slower than expected because he has been steadfast about believing his value is worth a three-year contract, Martino reported. Yankees GM Brian Cashman, however, has been "highly reluctant" to give Happ more than a two-year deal, according to Martino, who reported the two parties could potentially meet in the middle with a vesting option.
The Phillies emerged Tuedsay as the top suitor for Happ, with The New York Post's George A. King III reporting they was "getting closer" to agreeing on a contract.
Happ came up through the Phillies' farm system, making his MLB debut with the club in 2007. Both the Yankees and Phillies are pursuing another starting pitcher after losing out on LHP Patrick Corbin (six-year, $140 million deal with the Nationals) and RHP Nathan Eovaldi (four-year, $67.5 million deal with the Red Sox).
Cashman has been vocal about wanting to add two top starters this offseason. After landing LHP James Paxton in a trade with the Mariners, Happ could potentially be the final piece to the Yankees' 2019 rotation.
But according to Martino, the Yankees are still also interested in Mets pitchers, including Noah Syndergaard, whose name emerged as part of a potential three-team trade between the Yankees, Mets and Marlins.
The Yankees acquired Happ from Toronto before the 2018 trade deadline, and the move quickly paid dividends for New York. He went 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA (4.21 FIP) in 11 regular season starts in pinstripes.
The Astros, Angels, Blue Jays, Braves and Brewers have also been reportedly linked to Happ.