Two weeks ago Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew admitted that missing the beginning of the season was a possibility as he recovers from last year’s broken ankle and now Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic takes it one step further.
Piecoro writes that no one has ruled out Drew being ready for the opener, but “the clock’s ticking … looks very unlikely to me.”
Piecoro added that “Drew hasn’t done much in the way of running the bases, hasn’t faced live pitching, hasn’t slid.”
On the other hand, manager Kirk Gibson said that the Diamondbacks plan to “push him pretty good this week” in an effort to see exactly where Drew stands with the season less than a month away. John McDonald and Willie Bloomquist are Arizona’s backup options at shortstop, so the Diamondbacks have the market cornered on scrappiness even if their offense will suffer without Drew.
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.