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Yankees gain Happ, lose Judge for the home stretch

The New York Yankees were busy again Thursday, scooping up J.A. Happ from the Toronto Blue Jays for Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney.  It was most definitely a move where the Yankees overpaid, but it was a necessary one as Happ brings stability and a veteran presence to the back end of the Yankees’ rotation.

In return, the Blue Jays get a very capable player in Drury who just happened to get Wally Pipped by Miguel Andujar and a young journeyman outfielder in Billy McKinney who has shown flashes of brilliance.

Happ may be a rental but he’s been excellent against the American League East in his major league career, and although he has a 4.18 ERA, he is still 10-6 and an innings eater.  In addition, Happ has been pretty good in the playoffs in both relief and starting situations, compiling a 1-1 record with a 3.72 ERA in six appearances.  It’s clearly a theme that the Yankees have been picking up pitchers that have fared well in their division.

The Yankees are most certainly not done improving their team. They lost Aaron Judge on Thursday night to a fractured wrist.  Judge was hit by Jakob Junis in the first inning and although he hit a single in the 4th was taken out of the game and sent to the hospital for further evaluation.  MRIs revealed a slight fracture in Judge’s wrist and the timetable for his return is 4-6 weeks.

It’s a devastating loss for the Yankees as they lose their best overall player for a few weeks, but luckily there are a still a few days to add a quality bat in addition to the starting pitching they still need.  Brian Cashman may also be looking for a backup catcher with Gary Sanchez gone until late August.  As serviceable as Austin Romine has been, if he somehow gets hurt, the Yankees last resort is Kyle Higashioka.

The Yankees have plenty of options in the next coming days, including a surprisingly still available free agent in Hanley Ramirez and New York Mets OF/3B Jose Bautista.  Both would be cheap, quick fixes in the middle of the Yankees lineup that provide some good pop while Judge is on the shelf.  Hopefully Clint Frazier is also available soon as this would be the perfect opportunity to showcase him. The young outfielder is currently in concussion protocol.

It’s not the end of the world, but it certainly is not good that Judge is out for an extended period of time.  However, the Yankees added another piece of the puzzle with Happ and can add some short term help while Judge is gone.  This team does not rely on just one person and with Gleyber Torres back it eases the pain a little bit.


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