Navarro injured in collision, carted off field

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navarro warm-up.JPG5:26pm: Topkin hears that Navarro has only a bruised nerve in his left leg and should be fine for the start of the season.  He’ll sit out the next two or three days of camp.

2:07pm: According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, Rays catcher Dioner Navarro was injured in a collision at home plate on Saturday afternoon and had to be carted off the field.  He looked to be in a considerable amount of pain and was motioning toward his left leg while trainers attended to him. 

If Navarro has some kind of break or deep bone bruise and is forced to miss the start of the season, Kelly Shoppach will likely handle catching duties all to himself for the early part of April.

Navarro, 26, had a miserable .218/.261/.322 batting line last year with eight homers and 32 RBI in 376 at-bats.  He badly needs a bounce-back season and was off to a 6-for-13 start in Grapefruit League play this spring.  Shoppach, 30 in April, was brought over from Cleveland in early December for a player to be named later.  He batted .214/.335/.399 last year with 12 home runs and 40 RBI in 271 at-bats.

Yankees, Mariners expressing interest in J.A. Happ

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Yankees and Mariners are both expressing interest in Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ.

Happ is posting a 3.48 ERA and a 94/25 K/BB ratio in 82.2 innings across 14 starts and has been stingy with the hits as well. Between that, the Blue Jays’ lack of contention and the fact that Happ is in the walk year of his three-year, $36 million deal, all signs point to the Jays trading them.

In normal circumstances you might not expect the Jays to make a trade with the Yankees, but at this point it sort of doesn’t matter, does it? It’s not like Happ in New York on a couple month rental will impact the 2018 Jays too much. And, given his pending free agency, it’s not extraordinarily likely that he’d haunt the Jays from the Bronx long term either.

There’s not a ton of elite pitching currently available, but as the trade deadline approaches — a little over a month to go on that score — the talk about Happ, Cole Hamels, Francisco Liriano and others will heat up. Figure the Yankees will be linked with any and all available starters.