Breaking News: Yankees Accept Britton; Decline Gardner and Happ Options
Zack Britton will be returning as the likely set-up man to Aroldis Chapman in the bullpen as the future of Brett Gardner and the New York Yankees has now become more complicated. J.A. Happ is also surely a goner.
Can confirm that the #Yankees have picked up Zack Britton’s option for 2022, valued at $14 million. — Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) October 29, 2020
Yankees plan to exercise Zack Britton’s option, but not Brett Gardner or J.A. Happ. https://t.co/SEAJdsjLfv — AP Sports (@AP_Sports) October 30, 2020
Very excited to continue the pursuit of a championship with the @Yankees — Zack Britton (@zbritton) October 30, 2020
This is a great move for the Yankees to make. Britton could (and likely should) be considered for the closer role after this 2-Year/$27 Million option was accepted by the team. Britton will be earning $13 Million in 2021 and $14 Million in 2022. He has been much better than Chapman in the tough situations recently and has plenty of experience as the top man in the bullpen in his career. Remember, before Chapman came back from COVID in 2020, Britton was holding down the final innings of games very well.
This then may also make me want to make sure Britton isn’t the “closer” as with that role comes less ability for a manager like Boone to want to go to him in more dire and important situations. Regardless, the Yankees with this move did the right thing. Britton would probably get or beat this on the open market so we can only hope he continues to do as he has in the pinstripes. Britton also had a $13 Million player option for 2021, but that’s become unimportant now.
This is another good move for the Yankees, even though this will likely not win any favors from the Brett Gardner faithful. If the Yankees accepted his contract they would be paying him $10 Million to be the 4th outfielder. This move (likely) signals that they are willing to give Clint Frazier a legitimate shot in the MLB, who will be the better player in 2021 and could serve to hold down the position into the near future.
Or, this could be the Yankees way to try and sign Gardner on a cheaper deal to be the 4th outfielder in 2021. At this moment, I wouldn’t like to see that happen because it is time to cut ties with Gardy, especially after his very poor 2020 campaign. They are due to pay him $2.5 Million as part of the buy-out.
I wonder if he would consider signing with another MLB team to try and keep his career going. It’s happened with many other stars- heck, Yogi Berra signed with the Mets after the Yankees didn’t bring him back- and it won’t ruin his reputation.
So, according to some sources, this is likely to end up and/or has already led to the Yankees and Happ’s agent going to an independent arbitrator to determine if the Yankees are in the right to decline the option in his contract.
The clause depended on Happ reaching 27 starts (or 165 innings) before the season was shortened, a move that became 10 starts, of which Happ only started 9 games. This is why the Yankees were allowed (maybe?) to move on.
If this is allowed to happen (…see what I did there?) then this is going to be great move, albeit an obvious move, for the Yankees to make. It saves the Yankees $17 Million in 2021, which is a lot of money now available for the club to make some better decisions.