A.J. Burnett turned in another poor outing last night, allowing four runs in six innings against the light-hitting Angels, but afterward manager Joe Girardi wasted no time telling reporters that the struggling right-hander will remain in the Yankees’ rotation.
Burnett actually held the Angels scoreless through five innings before falling apart in the sixth frame, but he’s allowed at least three runs in seven straight starts and last logged a Quality Start on June 29.
Dating back even further he’s 4-8 with a 5.23 ERA in 16 starts since mid-May, yet while Girardi is willing to move Phil Hughes in and out of the rotation the manager is unwilling to do the same with Burnett, who’s earning $16.5 million this season and will get the same salary in 2012 and 2013.
UPDATE: Rosenthal is now walking the report back a bit, saying that indications that the Yankees and Happ are close to a deal but that it is not yet done.
10:29 AM: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees and J.A. Happ have come to terms on a three-year deal. The agreement is pending a physical. The financial terms are not yet known.
Happ just turned 36, but he has been effective enough to warrant a three-year commitment. The Yankees know this as well as anyone, having acquired him last year and watched him post a 7-0 record and a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts in New York. For the entire season he was 17-6 with a 3.65 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 193/51 in 177.2 innings between the Yankees and the Blue Jays.
With Happ back in the fold, the Yankees rotation now consists of Luis Severino, James Paxton, Happ, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia, not necessarily in that order. A good group, assuming it stays healthy.