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Yankees acquire J.A. Happ from Blue Jays to bolster rotation

In this June 13, 2018, file photo, Toronto Blue Jays' J.A. Happ pitches to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game in St. Petersburg, Fla. . A person with knowledge of the talks tells The Associated Press the New York Yankees are nearing a deal to acquire Happ from Toronto to bolster their starting rotation. (Chris O'Meara / AP)
In this June 13, 2018, file photo, Toronto Blue Jays' J.A. Happ pitches to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game in St. Petersburg, Fla. . A person with knowledge of the talks tells The Associated Press the New York Yankees are nearing a deal to acquire Happ from Toronto to bolster their starting rotation. (Chris O'Meara / AP)

NEW YORK – The New York Yankees acquired left-hander J.A. Happ from Toronto on Thursday to bolster their starting rotation, a deal that sent infielder Brandon Drury and minor league outfielder Bill McKinney to the Blue Jays.

Happ, who turns 36 in October, is 10-6 with a 4.18 ERA in 20 starts and was a first-time All-Star. He joins a rotation that includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Sonny Gray.

Happ has a $13 million salary in the final season of a $36 million, three-year contract, and the Yankees are responsible for the remaining $4,543,011.

Reliever Zach Britton reported to the Yankees on Thursday, two days after he was acquired from Baltimore for three pitching prospects. Britton added $4,387,097 to the Yankees payroll. New York began the season with a $179 million payroll for purposes of the luxury tax, which left the team room to add salaries and remain under the $197 million threshold.

New York began the day 5 1/2 games behind Boston, the A.L. East leader. The Yankees were just 14-14 in their previous 28 games.

A 12-year major league veteran, Happ is 102-82 with a 3.95 ERA for Philadelphia (2007-10), Houston (2010-12), Toronto (2013-14, 2016-18), Seattle (2015) and Pittsburgh (2015).

Earlier Thursday, Toronto traded right-hander Seunghwan Oh to Colorado for minor league infielder Chad Spanberger, outfielder Forrest Wall and a player to be named or cash.

Drury, who turns 26 next month, was acquired by the Yankees from Arizona in February and began the season as their starting third baseman. He went on the disabled list after the team’s eighth game because of blurred vision and migraines, and he lost his job to rookie Miguel Andujar.

Drury has played in just 10 games for New York since and has spent most of the season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he is hitting .294 with five homers and 30 RBIs in 55 games. He has a $621,900 salary and has 2 years, 99 days of major league service, making it possible he could be eligible for salary arbitration for the first time next winter.

The 23-year-old McKinney was selected by Oakland with the 24th overall pick in the 2013 amateur draft, was traded to the Chicago Cubs with Addison Russell and Dan Straily for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammell in July 2014, then dealt to the Yankees along with Gleyber Torres and Adam Warren for Aroldis Chapman in July 2016.

McKinney has played two games for the Yankees, filling in on March 30-31 because of injuries to other outfielders. He is hitting .230 with 13 homers and 35 RBIs in 62 games this year for Class A Tampa, Double-A Trenton and Scranton.


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