J.A. Happ is now officially an ex-Yankee following a rocky final season in The Bronx.
The left-hander agreed to a one-year deal with the Twins on Wednesday, a source confirmed to The Post’s Joel Sherman. The deal is worth a reported $8 million.
Happ’s exit from the Yankees was nearly a certainty after Happ took issue with the organization throughout the COVID-shortened season, implying the team was trying to limit his usage in order to prevent a $17 million option from vesting.
And it ended with his last appearance for the Yankees, which came in relief during an ALDS Game 2 loss, when the Yankees used a much-criticized strategy against the Rays, starting Deivi Garcia, with Happ entering in relief.
Happ declined to comment about the decision at the time.
“We didn’t ask J.A. Happ to do something he wasn’t used to doing,’’ general manager Brian Cashman said of the decision. “I know he’s a starter, but he’s had 15 career postseason appearances in his entire career. Do you know how many starts he’s had? He’s had four starts in the postseason. So his whole postseason career is coming out of the pen typically.”
That continued what was a contentious relationship.
In August, when asked if he believed the Yankees were pitching him less frequently to potentially avoid the option, Happ responded: “You guys [in the media] are pretty smart. It doesn’t take too much to figure out, sort of, what could be going on.”
Cashman shot down that possibility later that week.
“[Happ] did not have a good season last year,’’ Cashman said. “He had a poor season last year, and he’s gotten out of the gate not very successful for us this year. We’re certainly hopeful he can step up and pitch well for us today and help us win a game, but it’s pure baseball. … We’re not trying to complicate anything. Our job is to try to win baseball games and put the best players out there on the field under those circumstances, nothing more, nothing less.”
The Yankees acquired Happ from Toronto prior to the 2018 trade deadline and signed him to a two-year, $34 million deal after he went 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts down the stretch, but he was disappointing in 2019.
Happ, 38, had a strong six-game stretch last season, during which he had a 1.93 ERA.
The Yankees agreed to a one-year, $11 million deal with Corey Kluber last week and have Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery and — when he returns from Tommy John rehab in midseason — Luis Severino in their rotation, with Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton still free agents.
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