Arthur Rhodes close to deciding where he’ll pitch in 2012

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Arthur Rhodes said during the Cardinals’ World Series run in October that he planned to play one more season before retiring and according to Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest, the 42-year-old left-hander is close to deciding where he’ll pitch in 2012.

Rhodes was released by the Rangers last August after posting a 4.81 ERA over 32 appearances, but latched on with the Cardinals in August and pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings during the postseason. The Cardinals would reportedly like to bring him back, but he has also drawn interest from the Mariners this offseason.

Rhodes has a 4.08 ERA over his 20 seasons in the majors, but the great majority of his success has come after the age of 30. The southpaw has a 3.07 ERA since 2001.

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.