M’s trade Jose Lopez to Rockies for minor league pitcher

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Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik is widely regarded as one of the smartest and most forward-thinking front office executives in all of baseball.  Things didn’t work out in 2010, when the M’s finished with a hideous 61-101 record, but the man they call “Jack Z” is again earning his reputation this winter.

According to Shannon Drayer of Seattle’s 710 ESPN, the Mariners have dealt infielder Jose Lopez to the Rockies for minor league pitcher Chaz Roe.

Roe posted an ugly 5.98 ERA and 1.67 WHIP this year at the Triple-A level and is far from a top prospect, but the M’s had planned on non-tendering Lopez before Thursday night’s deadline and it’s absolutely incredible that Jack Z was able to find a trade partner with just hours to go.

Lopez is likely to see regular action at second base next season in Colorado.  He hit just .239/.270/.339 over 593 at-bats in 2010, but he does have a decent power stroke and should be able to let that shine at Coors Field.  Granted, he will cut into the development of young Colorado two-bagger Eric Young Jr.

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.