New York — To the Yankees, lefty J.A. Happ put check marks in a lot of boxes — familiar with the AL East, comfortable in the postseason and perhaps most importantly, successful against the Boston Red Sox.
Hours after ace reliever Zach Britton donned pinstripes for the first time, the Yankees also acquired the starting pitcher they sought.
They got Happ from Toronto on Thursday for infielder Brandon Drury and minor league outfielder Billy McKinney.
“We definitely satisfied some needs here,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.
The Yankees began the day 5½ games behind AL East-leading Boston.
They were just 14-14 in their previous 28 games.
Happ, who turns 36 in October, is 10-6 with a 4.18 ERA in 20 starts and was a first-time All-Star. Happ joins a rotation that includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Sonny Gray. Manager Aaron Boone said it hasn’t been determined when Happ will make his Yankees debut.
Happ was 0-3 in his last four starts, and had been hit hard this month by the Yankees and Boston— an error severely cost him. Despite that dip, Cashman said he saw “more upside.”
Cubs get Hamels
The Cubs acquired left-hander Cole Hamels from the Rangers for minor-league prospects, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers and Jerry Crasnick.
The teams agreed to the trade Thursday, pending physicals for the players involved. Hamels, 34, has a 5-9 record and a 4.72 ERA this season.
A four-time All-Star, Hamels is 152-111 with a 3.43 ERA in his 14th season in the league.
He played for the Phillies from 2006 to 2015 and won a World Series, a World Series MVP and an NLCS MVP with them in 2008.
On July 25, 2015, in his last start for Philadelphia before being traded to the Rangers, Hamels no-hit the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Hamels is 3-1 in six career starts in Chicago.
Brewers acquire Soria
Two-time All-Star closer Joakim Soria was acquired by the Brewers from the White Sox for a pair of pitching prospects, left-hander Kodi Medeiros and right-hander Wilber Perez.
As part of the trade, Chicago will send Milwaukee $1,064,516 to cover part of the $4,145,161 remaining in the guaranteed portion of ex-Tiger Soria’s $25 million, three-year contract.