Edinson Volquez will likely need another rehab start

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You know the idea that Edinson Volquez would return from the disabled list this week in order for Mike Leake to be skipped in the rotation headed into the All-Star break? Yeah, you can probably scratch that.

According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, Volquez will likely need another minor league rehab start before he is cleared to return from the disabled list. If true, that would push his return past the All-Star break. The rehabbing right-hander gave up two runs over five innings for Triple-A Louisville on Sunday, but that wasn’t nearly enough for Reds general manager Walt Jocketty to give the go-ahead.

“I’d think probably not,” Jocketty said. “He only pitched five innings.
We can’t have that up here.”

The Reds wanted Volquez to throw over 100 pitches a couple times before being activated from the disabled list, but he threw 87 (46 for strikes) on Sunday and 90 last Tuesday. He’s not quite there yet.

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.