The Royals give Ned Yost a two-year extension

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In addition to announcing the Ankiel and Farnsworth trade, the Kansas City Royals just announced that they have given Ned Yost a two-year contract extension.

I like this move, really. Ned Yost is not John McGraw, but he’s what this team needs right now. Both as a manager — he has a track record of being good with up and coming players, and the Royals have many of them in their system (including Tim Collins . . . grrrr!) — and as a stabilizing force. The Royals have cycled through manager after manager the past few years, and it’s about time they stick with one for a while.

I have a hard time seeing any better candidates for the Royals job than Yost at this particular time in history. If they reach the brink of contention in a couple of years, sure, maybe they think about bringing in someone else. But for right now, no news is good news for the Royals.  Stay the course, ya know?

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.