Due to the shortened season in 2020, there was an issue regarding players’ vesting options and bonuses. Since the numbers were created based on a 162-game season, a modification was necessary due to the shortened campaign.
On Monday, Major League Baseball and the players union agreed upon how these bonuses and vesting options would be handled for the 2020 season. Although there is an agreement, it appears that some players are actually excluded from it.
According to multiple reports, Yankees left-hander J.A. Happ is one of the few players that are excluded from the new agreement. The exact reason as to why Happ is excluded has not yet been reported.
The veteran left-hander’s original contract includes a $17M vesting/club option for the 2021 season. Based on the original agreement, Happ would have had to make 27 starts and/or throw 165 innings in order to make the option guaranteed.
In this situation, Happ and the Yankees will have to reach a modified agreement to adjust the original contract. If the two sides can not reach a deal, the case will be submitted to an arbitrator to make the final determination. Look for the Yankees to come to an agreement with Happ on modified numbers regarding his vesting option.
Happ is coming off a 2019 season in which he posted a 12-8 record with a 4.91 ERA over 31 games (30 starts). Although he struggled during the 2019 campaign, Happ could be a very valuable piece for the Yankees pitching staff this season.