Tony La Russa will be in Cardinals camp too

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Much has been made of Tony La Russa hanging out in Tigers camp with his friend Jim Leyland, but the retired manager will soon be making an appearance in Cardinals camp as well.

Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that La Russa will be participating in a charity golf tournament next week near the Cardinals’ spring training complex and plans to stop by on March 2.

Also of note is that La Russa is scheduled to attend the Cardinals’ regular season opener against the Marlins, at the new ballpark in Miami.

Surely by then he’ll have cured Leyland of his smoking habit. Seems like a one-week project, right?

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.