BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox need pitching, some more pitching, and even more pitching this offseason. So it shouldn’t be any surprise that the team is on the hunt for some free agent pitching.
The Red Sox are one of the many teams to show interest in veteran lefty J.A. Happ, according to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. Happ, 38, has been an innings-eater throughout his career, something the Red Sox could desperately use going forward.
He’s also pretty good at Fenway Park, as Morosi noted Monday:
Sources: #RedSox showing interest in J.A. Happ, and perhaps we should have seen this coming: Happ, 38, has thrown more IP at Fenway (66-2/3) than any ballpark he has not called home — and he has a 2.57 ERA in his career there. @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 23, 2020
Happ bounced back well in 2020 after a tough 2019 season, going 2-2 with a 3.47 ERA over nine starts for the New York Yankees. He went 12-8 with a 4.91 ERA in 2019, but ate up 161.1 innings for New York.
Over his 14-year career, Happ has averaged 190 innings pitcher per season. He is 123-92 overall with a 3.98 ERA and 1.301 WHIP over his career for the Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates and Seattle Mariners. His best season came in 2016 with Toronto, when Happ went 20-4 with a 3.18 ERA, finishing sixth in AL Cy Young voting. He was an All-Star for the Blue Jays in 2018, finishing the season 17-6 with a 3.65 ERA.
The Red Sox are in need of some starters, with Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi the only locks for the rotation to start the season. Chris Sale is still on the mend from Tommy John surgery, giving Chaim Bloom another hole to plug on the Opening Day roster.
Happ wouldn’t be a flashy signing, but he takes the ball every five days and gives his team innings. That’s something the Red Sox will need a lot of in 2021.