Brandon Phillips returns to lineup after four-game absence

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As first reported by Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is back in the Cincinnati starting lineup on Sunday afternoon for the first time since suffering a bruised left elbow when he was hit by a pitch last Tuesday.

Phillips, 30, has registered a .287/.333/.424 triple slash line with 11 home runs and 63 RBI in 489 plate appearances this year for the third-place Reds. He is batting third and playing second in Sunday’s series finale against Padres left-hander Wade LeBlanc.

The Reds have won four straight but remain 10 games back of the Brewers in the National League Central.

Report: Yankees J.A. Happ, closing in on a three-year deal

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UPDATE: Rosenthal is now walking the report back a bit, saying that indications that the Yankees and Happ are close to a deal but that it is not yet done.

10:29 AM: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees and J.A. Happ have come to terms on a three-year deal. The agreement is pending a physical. The financial terms are not yet known.

Happ just turned 36, but he has been effective enough to warrant a three-year commitment. The Yankees know this as well as anyone, having acquired him last year and watched him post a 7-0 record and a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts in New York. For the entire season he was 17-6 with a 3.65 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 193/51 in 177.2 innings between the Yankees and the Blue Jays.

With Happ back in the fold, the Yankees rotation now consists of Luis Severino, James Paxton, Happ, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia, not necessarily in that order. A good group, assuming it stays healthy.