Report: Yankees actively pursuing trade of Happ

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The New York Yankees are actively trying to trade left-hander J.A. Happ this winter, sources told Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Sherman suggests that New York is trying to move Happ in order to make room on the payroll for right-hander Gerrit Cole. The Yankees are expected to aggressively pursue Cole, and it's looking like the ace will command a contract worth significantly more than $300 million.

New York's payroll will likely cross the 2020 luxury tax threshold set at $208 million, but the Yankees will face further surtaxes if they exceed it by $20 million. An even greater penalty will be applied if they go $40 million over the threshold.

Happ, 37, is set to earn $17 million in 2020. If he pitches 165 innings or makes 27 starts in the campaign, a $17-million option will automatically vest for 2021, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts.

The veteran southpaw looked great during his initial run in the Bronx. He went 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over 11 starts after being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in 2018. After the season, New York signed him to a two-year, $34-million contract, and things went sideways. Happ went 12-8 with a 4.91 ERA and 1.30 WHIP across 31 appearances in 2019.

Report: Yankees actively pursuing trade of Happ
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