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Yankees shopping J.A. Happ to clear payroll space for Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees are actively trying to trade left-hander J.A. Happ this winter, sources told Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Sherman suggests that New York is trying to move Happ in order to make room on the payroll for right-hander Gerrit Cole. The Yankees are expected to aggressively pursue Cole, and it’s looking like the ace will command a contract worth significantly more than $300 million.

Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman during batting practice

New York’s payroll will likely cross the 2020 luxury tax threshold set at $208 million, but the Yankees will face further surtaxes if they exceed it by $20 million. An even greater penalty will be applied if they go $40 million over the threshold.

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